UK’s Richest Hinduja Family Sentenced to Jail for Worker Exploitation!

Members of the UK’s wealthiest family, the Hindujas, have been found guilty of exploiting domestic workers at their luxury Geneva villa by a Swiss court. However, they were acquitted of human trafficking charges.

On Friday, the court sentenced Prakash (78) and Kamal Hinduja (75) to four years and six months in prison, while their son Ajay and daughter-in-law Namrata Hinduja received four-year sentences. The court also ordered them to pay approximately $9.50 lakh in compensation and $3 lakh in procedural fees.

However, the Hindujas have expressed shock at the verdict and filed an appeal in a higher court. Their lawyers, Yael Hayat, Robert Assael, and Roman Jordan, stated, “Our clients have been acquitted of all human trafficking charges. We are appalled and disappointed by the rest of the decision made in this court of first instance, and we have, of course, filed an appeal to the higher court, thereby making this part of the judgement not effective.”

Prosecutors accused the family of confiscating workers’ passports, preventing them from leaving the villa, and forcing them to work long hours for minimal pay. Some workers, speaking only Hindi, were paid in rupees to Indian bank accounts inaccessible from Switzerland.

Prosecutor Yves Bertossa revealed that one worker was paid as little as 7 Swiss francs ($7.84) for up to 18-hour workdays, seven days a week.  The prosecutors alleged the family spent 8,584 Swiss francs on their dog which is more than they spent on their servants.

Meanwhile, the court dismissed more severe human trafficking charges; it upheld convictions for exploiting workers’ lack of local language skills and knowledge. Workers reported a “climate of fear” and were forced to work without statutory time off or benefits, for wages far below Swiss standards.

The Hinduja family’s legal team denied the allegations, arguing that staff were treated respectfully and provided proper accommodation. They emphasized their clients’ acquittal on human trafficking charges and expressed confidence that “the truth will prevail” in the appeal process.

As per ‘The Sunday Times Rich List’ published last month, the Hinduja family in the UK has been named the wealthiest in the country, with an estimated fortune of GBP 37.196 billion.

The family’s conglomerate, led by Chairman G.P. Hinduja, has a presence in 48 countries and spans a variety of industries, including automotive, oil and specialty chemicals, banking and finance, information technology, cyber security, healthcare, trading, infrastructure project development, media and entertainment, power, and real estate.

No Imprisonment of the Hinduja Family members. Human Trafficking charges Dismissed

“The four Swiss-national members of the Hinduja Family, Kamal & Prakash Hinduja, Namrata & Ajay Hinduja, have not been subjected to any imprisonment, conviction, sentence or detention.

Per Swiss Law procedures, the lower court’s judgement is rendered ineffective and inoperative as the presumption of innocence is paramount until and unless a final judgment by the highest adjudicating authority is enforced.

The most serious of the charges, Human Trafficking, against them were completely dismissed by the court yesterday.

It may be noted that the case has no complainants left anymore and they had declared in the court that they were led into signing statements that they didn’t even understand. They had neither intended to nor initiated such proceedings. All of them further testified that the four Hinduja Family Members treated them with “respect, dignity and like family”.

The four family members have full faith in the Swiss Judicial Process and remain confident that the truth will prevail,” said a spokesperson of Kamal & Prakash Hinduja, Namrata & Ajay Hinduja.

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