Four members of Britain’s richest family get jail terms after exploiting servants

UK

Four members of Britain’s richest family have received jail sentences after being found guilty of exploiting their vulnerable domestic workers and providing unauthorised employment.

Indian-born tycoon Prakash Hinduja and his wife Kamal, along with their son Ajay and his wife Namrata, were, however, cleared by a Swiss court of more serious charges of human trafficking linked to their servants.

The court ruled the servants, who were mostly illiterate Indians and worked at their lakeside villa in Geneva, knew what they were getting into.

The four family members were sentenced to between four and four-and-a-half years in prison.

The lawyers representing the defendants said they would appeal.

In their defence, the Hinduja family’s legal team stated the staff were treated respectfully and provided with accommodation.

The four were accused of seizing workers’ passports, paying them in rupees – not Swiss francs – barring them from leaving the villa and forcing them to work excruciatingly long hours for a pittance in Switzerland, among other things.

More from World

The defendants were not in court in Geneva though a fifth defendant – Najib Ziazi, the family’s business manager – was in attendance. He received an 18-month suspended sentence.

It emerged last week in criminal court the family – which has roots in India – had reached an undisclosed settlement with the plaintiffs. Geneva prosecutors opened the case for alleged illegal activity including exploitation, human trafficking and violation of Swiss labour laws.

The prosecution said the workers – who were in jobs such as cooks or house help – were sometimes forced to work up to 18 hours a day with little or no holiday time off.

And their pay was less than one-tenth of the comparable amount required under Swiss law, it was alleged.

Employees worked even later hours for receptions and slept in the basement of the villa in the upscale Cologny neighbourhood – sometimes on a mattress on the floor, prosecutors said. They described a “climate of fear” brought by Kamal Hinduja.

The Hinduja family, led by Gopi Hinduja, topped the 2024 Sunday Times rich list with a combined wealth of £37.196bn.


Follow Sky News on WhatsApp
Follow Sky News on WhatsApp

Keep up with all the latest news from the UK and around the world by following Sky News

Tap here

This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly.

Please refresh the page for the fullest version.

You can receive Breaking News alerts on a smartphone or tablet via the Sky News App. You can also follow @SkyNews on X or subscribe to our YouTube channel to keep up with the latest news.

Articles You May Like

Massive electric forklifts get to work at the Port of Los Angeles
Alec Baldwin’s Rust shooting trial begins today – here are the key things you need to know
Gunman ‘identified’ as video shows body and rifle on roof after Trump shooting
TV sex therapist dies, aged 96
Man arrested at Bristol station after human remains found in suitcases