The Hindujas, Britain’s richest family, are facing nearly four years in prison for exploiting their Indian employees at their Geneva villa. A Swiss judge found four members of the family guilty of illegal employment, which they have challenged in a higher court.

A court on Friday called the Hindujas “selfish” after prosecutors alleged that they had inhumanely treated their staff, who were flown from India to work as domestic servants in their family mansion. .

He sentenced Prakash Hinduja and his wife Kamal Hinduja to four years and six months in prison and four years to their sons Ajay and Namrata. However, the court acquitted him of the serious charge of human trafficking.

Hinduja, whose fortune is estimated at about $47 billion, operates businesses in 38 countries ranging from oil and gas to banking and healthcare.

During the trial, prosecutors alleged that Hinduja paid his staff just $8 (Rs 660) to work up to 18 hours a day. This was less than a tenth of the wage mandated by Swiss law.

Prosecutors alleged that the family also confiscated the passports of its staff and rarely allowed them outside their villa in the colony’s affluent neighborhood.

He also told the court that the family spent more on their dog than on their servants. Their dog cost about 8,584 Swiss francs (Rs 8 lakh) per year, while some of their staff worked 18 hours a day, seven days a week, for just 7 Swiss francs (Rs 660) a day. Swiss prosecutor Yves Bertosa said.

Hinduja had denied the allegations and said that his employees were free to leave the villas and receive substantial benefits. The defense argued that staff were “grateful” to the Hindujas for “offering a better life”.

The family said in a statement that they were “appalled” by the decision and had filed a challenge in the High Court.

“We are shocked and disappointed by the rest of the judgment handed down in this court for the first time, and of course we have filed an appeal to the higher court which will not make this part of the judgment effective,” said a statement signed by the lawyers. Made”. Of the Hindus

Hinduja had earlier settled out of court with the three employees who had made allegations against him, but prosecutors pushed it forward due to the seriousness of the allegations.

Prakash and Kamal Hinduja, both in their 70s, did not appear in court due to health reasons. Ajay and Namrata attended the trial but were not present to hear the verdict on Friday.

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