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The richest family in the United Kingdom is condemned by the Court for the exploitation of servants

The richest family in the United Kingdom is condemned by the Court for the

They are the richest family in the UK, but certainly not the neatest. Four members of Hinduja, a family of Indian origin, were convicted of exploiting their employees to the point of paying them less per day than they spend feeding their dogs.

Prakash and Kamal Hinduja, their son Ajay and daughter-in-law Namrata, were convicted of exploiting domestic servants brought from India to work at their villa in Geneva.

As the BBC reports, the charges of exploitation and illegal labor were recognized by a Swiss court which handed down sentences of 4 to 4.6 years, while the four were acquitted of the more serious charge of human trafficking. Lawyers representing the defendants said they intend to appeal the sentence. Three workers brought from their native India reported that the family paid them just seven pounds (just over eight euros) to work 18 hours a day. This is less than a tenth of the minimum amount required by Swiss law. To keep them under control, the family had also seized the passports of their employees. Prosecutors also said the family, whose fortune is estimated at around £37 billion, rarely allowed them to leave their home, which is in the wealthy neighborhood of Geneva.

The defense argued that the workers received great benefits, that they were not kept in solitary confinement and that they were free to leave the villa and were in fact "grateful to Hinduja for offering them a better life". Prakash and Kamal Hinduja, both in their seventies, did not attend the court proceedings due to health reasons. Ajay and Namrata were present in court but not at the reading of the verdict.

The prosecution immediately requested a restraining order against the young couple, but this was rejected by the judge. The defense said Kamal Hinduja is currently hospitalized in Munich – and three other family members are at his bedside. The Hinduja family owns the Hinduja Group, a multinational with interests in oil, gas and banking, and owns the Raffles Hotel in London.