Switzerland-Based Indian Family Accused of Exploiting Domestic Workers

first_imgA Switzerland-based wealthy Indian-origin family is under investigation for exploiting their domestic workers and paying them inadequate salary for working in their home near Geneva.According to a report in Swiss news portal Swissinfo.ch, the family brought six workers from India on tourist visa and confiscated their passports.According to the portal, which quoted from a French language newspaper Le Temps, Geneva police raided the family house in Cologny, outside Geneva, in April after one  of the domestic staff complained about this issue.According to investigators, the Indian domestic workers were paid between CHF140 and CHF520 ($140.5 and $522) per month and were made to work up to 18 hours a day, seven days a week. One of the employees claimed that he had not left the house in ten years, the newspaper said in its article.While the French language newspaper first carried the names of the family, it later removed the names following a court case. The English language portal too has not published the names of either the family of the members under investigation.According to Le Temps, which managed to access a judicial document from the proceedings, “None of the employees has ever obtained, or even applied for, a residence or work permit in Switzerland, even though they lived and worked most of the time in Cologny,” Swissinfo said in its report.Four people were arrested on April 12 on suspicion of usury or even human trafficking and violations of the federal law on foreign workers involving three domestic staff, Swissinfo said quoting Le Temps which spoke to Geneva Public Prosecutor’s Office.The news portal said that by paying its Indian staff salaries that were more than ten times lower than the acceptable rates, the family was allegedly able to save CHF20,000 a month over 20 years. According to Le Temps, the family must have saved CHF5 million over this period.During a hearing in April, the family denied any wrongdoing and said that the Indian staff was hired to help and not to serve and were considered as family members. The family also told the court that upon retirement, the workers would have received huge payout. Related Itemslast_img

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