Health & Fitness

Family’s $22 Billion Fortune At Risk As Human-Trafficking Claims Mount Up

  • Mar 8, 2024
  • 51
Family’s $22 Billion Fortune At Risk As Human-Trafficking Claims Mount Up

We’re all too familiar with billionaires’ bad practices — from Jeff Bezos giving his staff UTIs to Elon Musk’s powder habits, all the way down the rabbit hole to the mid-blowing Epstein case — but it seems the ultra-wealthy show no signs of slowing down.

The Hinduja family, known for their sprawling US$14 billion empire (c. $22 billion. AUD), is facing numerous allegations of human trafficking. The case, unfolding a stone’s throw away from the UN’s human rights headquarters in Switzerland, involves multiple accusations of exploiting household staff in their luxurious Lake Geneva villa.

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Four members of the family were charged over a year ago, but the legal battle has rapidly intensified with the family now pulling an “Uno reverse” card out of the back pocket and accusing Geneva’s judicial system of forgery and flagrant abuse of authority. Filling a criminal complaint against a number of unnamed individuals working on the case against them, they are attempting to challenge the integrity of the investigation wholesale.

Regardless, the charges levelled against the Hindujas are grave. The 43-page indictment by Geneva’s top financial crimes prosecutor alleges that the staff working at the aforementioned villa were subjected to up to 18-hour days, seven-day work weeks, and were paid a fraction of the (already not great) Swiss minimum wage.

They were also reportedly housed in a windowless “nuclear bunker” and had their passports confiscated on arrival to make leaving their roles nigh on impossible. Romain Jordan, who represents the Hinduja family, vehemently contests the charges, claiming the investigation is based on a “fantasised” version of events.

The family believes the case is marred by serious irregularities and continues to argue, seemingly in vain, for acquittal…

“The investigation is tainted by serious irregularities and lies, which we will endeavor to denounce during the trial”

Hinduja Family Lawyer

The legal proceedings have been complicated by numerous (and somewhat suspicious) delays, with the family citing poor health amongst other reasons. They have also raised concerns about the timing of the case’s opening and the handling of their criminal complaint.

The case sheds light on the darker side of Geneva’s affluent society — as the aforementioned cases have shed light on the darker side of the ultra-rich worldwide — exposing the exploitation of workers who are essential to maintaining the (often excessively…) luxurious lifestyles of the rich and powerful. If convicted, the Hindujas could face hefty prison sentences, although the duration of said sentences is not specified in the Swiss criminal code and will rely on final judgment.

With a massive fortune hanging in the balance, you can expect the family to drag this out for as long as possible and, if necessary, throw some pretty dirty tricks into the mix. Watch this space…

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by menshealthfits.
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