Thursday, June 4th, 2020

Wealthy South Asian Woman Accused Of Trafficking Housekeeper From Africa Found Not Guilty

Ismaili-woman-trafficker21Raman Deep,

INVC,
 CANADA,
Mumtaz Ladha was charged in BC Supreme Court with human trafficking under the Immigration Act ,employing a foreign national without authorization, misrepresenting facts to the High Commission of Canada in Tanzania, and misrepresenting facts to Citizenship and Immigration Canada. But B.C. Supreme Court Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon says the young woman gave evidence that was not credible and the Crown did not prove that the woman was coerced into coming to Canada or was working for the family here. However, the judge didn’t clarified in her ruling what the woman was doing at the Ladha home in West Vancouver, including being left there while Ladha went back to Africa. It is not known yet whether the Crown plans to appeal. The 60-year-old was accused of lying to the young woman, whose name is banned from publication, and then lying to immigration officials to bring the woman to Canada illegally in August 2008m, reported News 1130.But B.C. Supreme Court Justice LauriAnn Fenlon says the young woman gave evidence that was not credible and the Crown did not prove that the woman was coerced into coming to Canada or was working for the family here. Fenlon says the complainant treated her employer with callous disregard for her benefactor and for the truth. She says she could not believe the version of events put forward by the complainant, who claims she was treated like a slave in the home of Mumtaz Ladha between  March of 2008 and June of 2009, reported INVC. The judge heard that the woman worked for Ladha at a hair salon in DaresSalaam, and believed she was coming to Canada to work in a salon here. In 2009 the young woman left the mansionin upscale West Vancouver and went to a women’s shelter. The judge has determined the young woman lied in order to try and stay in Canada. She has found Ladha not guilty on all four counts, including charges alleging human trafficking and falsifying documents to immigration officials to try and make sure this woman could come to Canada from Africa. But the Crown had argued that Ladha brought the woman to be an unpaid housekeeper and used “fraud, deception and coercion” to trick the woman and fool immigration officials. The Crown contended Ladha repeatedly lied to immigration officials in African and Canada, first to obtain the woman’s initial travel visa and then to obtain a visa extension five months after the woman’s arrival.”There’s a pattern of fraud, deception and coercion that occurs here,” Crown lawyer Peter LaPrairie said in his final arguments recently.”Mrs. Ladha used means of coercion, deception and fraud to convince (the woman) to come to Canada. She misrepresented the circumstances of the travel in the application for the visa. And she misrepresented the circumstances for the stay in Canada in the extension.”LaPrairie said the lies began in Tanzania, where the woman worked as a cleaner at a hair salon owned by Ladha in the city ofDar es Salaam. The woman had previouslyworked for Ladha as a housekeeper. The woman testified she was initially reluctant to travel to Canada, but Ladha offered her a job at a salon in Vancouver making $200 a month — twice what she was earning in Tanzania. All along, Ladha’s plan was to use the woman as her personal maid, LaPrairie said. Ladha then helped the woman apply for a passport and a travel visa, filling out the forms in English. The young woman only knew Swahili. The trip to Canada was described on the application as a two-month stay to allow the woman to help Ladha with a medical condition. The trial has heard evidence Ladha suffered from vertigo and osteoarthritis, but LaPrairie said there was no evidence the woman had ever assisted Ladha with medical tasks, even when she was Ladha’s housekeeper several years earlier. On the travel visa application, the young woman was described as Ladha’s longtime personal assistant and caregiver, even though at the time the woman was working at Ladha’s salon.”This isn’t just a mere slip,” said LaPrairie. “This is an attempt to mislead the authorities on the purpose of the visit, the length of the visit, and their relationship.”By January 2009, five months after their arrival, Ladha took the woman to an immigration consultant to apply for an extension to her visa, the trial has heard. The information on that application, which LaPrairie said was provided by Ladha, indicates the woman needed the extension to continue to help Ladha with her medical problems. The information on that application, which LaPrairie said was provided by Ladha, indicates the woman needed the extension to continue to help Ladha with her medical problems. However, Ladha already had plans to spend the next six months in Africa, LaPrairie said, and she left the woman behind in Canada several weeks after submitting the visa extension application. LaPrairie said the only explanation is that the answers provided for the visa extension were lies. The judge hearing the case agreed there were inaccuracies in the various immigration forms connected to the case, but she also questioned whether such errors meant Ladha was guilty. It is not known yet whether the Crown plans to appeal

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