A Swiss court has handed down prison sentences ranging from four to four-and-a-half years to four members of the UK’s wealthiest family, the Hindujas. Prakash and Kamal Hinduja, along with their son Ajay and his wife Namrata, were convicted of exploitation (usury) and illegal employment under Swiss law. However, they were acquitted of the more severe charge of human trafficking.

The case arose from allegations by workers brought from India who claimed they were paid as little as £7 ($8) for 18-hour workdays, significantly below Swiss legal requirements. The workers also asserted they were confined to the family’s residence in Geneva’s affluent Cologny neighborhood.

During the trial, prosecutors highlighted claims that the Hindujas spent more on their pet dog than on their employees. The elder Hindujas, aged over 70, have cited health reasons for their absence from court proceedings, while Ajay and Namrata, who attended the trial, were not present for the verdict announcement. Their defense plans to appeal the decision.

The Geneva prosecutor has called for the immediate detention of the convicted individuals. Geneva has previously been under scrutiny for cases involving alleged mistreatment of domestic workers, including a recent lawsuit by Filipino workers against a diplomatic mission.

The Hinduja family, with an estimated fortune of £37 billion, controls the multinational Hinduja Group, active in sectors such as oil, gas, and banking. They also own the prestigious Raffles hotel in London.

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