Forced labour and gross human trafficking in the court of Appeal
When the human trafficking process went before the district court, the 45-year-old man was sentenced to five years of imprisonment. Now the matter will be settled in the Borgarting Court of Appeal.
The man, who lives in Buskerud, retrieved over a four-year period dozens of Vietnamese people to Norway to put them in work on Norwegian farms. Prosecutors believe the man exploited the poor and vulnerable people when he put them in work on Norwegian farms on very low wages.
While the seasonal workers were paid between NOK 3,000 and 4,000 before travelling back to Vietnam, added 45-year-old according to the indictment a yield of at least 5.1 million. This was part of the remuneration farmers paid for labour, holiday pay and tax money that belonged to the workers, according to the indictment.
Contracts in Norwegian
The Vietnamese had to sign labor contracts written in Norwegian or English – languages they did not understand – and the man put them in a dependent relationship to him by arranging the trips to Norway and stay there. The expenses for this the man deducted from their wages. The money was put into accounts in their name, but that the defendant had disposal of, according to the prosecutor.
When the case was prosecuted in the Eiker, Modum and Sigdal district court, the 45-year-old was convicted of gross human trafficking, gross money laundering of approximately five million kroner and gross tax fraud of approximately NOK 600,000.
The prosecutors put forward an allegation of four years’ imprisonment, but the court decided that the conditions were so severe that it ruled on five years in prison and confiscation of five million.
The case starts Tuesday in the Borgarting Court of Appeal. The Court has set aside four weeks for the proceedings.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today