Second person charged over alleged human trafficking case in Sydney

A 45-year-old woman has been charged and is due to face court today (Wednesday, 25 July), for her role allegedly trafficking a woman and an infant child from Sydney to India last year.

The woman was arrested at Sydney International Airport yesterday (Tuesday, 24 July). The arrest is part of an Australian Federal Police (AFP) operation which has been ongoing since 2017, as a result of a referral from Anti-Slavery Australia.

The investigation centers on allegations that a 27-year-old Lidcombe man used coercion, threats and deception to force his wife and Australian-born infant child to go to India against their will in March 2017. Further details of this operation are available here.

The man was arrested in December, and is currently before court facing human trafficking, general dishonesty and forgery charges, contrary to the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) sections 271.2(1A) (offence with a maximum penalty of 12 years), ss 135.1(7) (offence with a maximum penalty of 10 years), and ss 145.1(1) (offence with a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment).

Following the arrest in December, the AFP human trafficking team continued to gather evidence to substantiate further charges against a 45-year-old Indian woman, allegedly involved in the trafficking.

The woman was subject to a border alert, and was arrested by the AFP at Sydney International Airport yesterday as she attempted to leave the country.

She has been charged with organising and facilitating the exit of another person out of Australian, contrary to section 271.2(1A) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

Police will allege in court the woman was involved in coercing the trafficked woman and her infant child to leave Australia in March 2017, and later destroyed the child’s passport to prevent their return to Australia.

The woman is due to appear in Sydney Central Local Court today. The maximum penalty for this offence is imprisonment for 12 years.

AFP Detective Superintendent Dan Evans, Sydney Coordinator of Victim Based Crime and Cyber, said it is an uncomfortable reality for many that human trafficking can and does exist in Australia.

“Human trafficking can take many forms, but what is important is that these alleged acts are reported so that victims can get the help and support that is available. The AFP works closely with a range of NGOs, including Anti-Slavery Australia, so that these matters don’t remain in the shadows,” Detective Superintendent Evans said.

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