A 27-year-old Lidcombe man will appear before court for allegedly trafficking his Indian wife and their two-month-old Australian-born daughter from Sydney to India.
Detectives from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) Human Trafficking Team began investigations in May 2017, following a referral from the non-government organisation Anti-Slavery Australia at the University of Technology Sydney.
It will be alleged in court the man used coercion, threats and deception to force his wife and child to go to India in March 2017.
The AFP alleges the accused made threats of physical violence if she did not go to India, and that victim feared for the safety of herself and her child if she did not travel.
It will also be alleged the man provided false and misleading information to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection relating to visa applications by his wife.
The man is due to appear at the Downing Centre Local Court today (5 December 2017).
Detective Superintendent Dan Evans, Coordinator of the AFP’s Victim Based Crime Command in Sydney, said the AFP has worked closely with Australian government and law enforcement agencies, along with non-government organisations to investigate this matter.
The operation also utilised the AFP’s international operations network and post in New Delhi, India, to investigate the transnational nature of the alleged trafficking.
“Partnerships are critical to the effective investigation of human trafficking offences and the AFP continues to build and value strong working relationships throughout many sectors of the community,” Detective Superintendent Evans said.
“This is a reminder that forcing someone to leave Australia using coercion, threats or deception is an offence under our laws, and strict Commonwealth human trafficking offences may apply.”
Both alleged victims in this matter have returned to Australia and are being supported under the Australian Government Support for Trafficked People Program.
The Lidcombe man has been charged with the following offences:
- One count of trafficking in persons (exit from Australia) contrary to section 271.2(1A) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty for this offence is imprisonment for 12 years.
- One count of general dishonesty contrary to section 135.1(7) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty for this offence is imprisonment for 10 years.
- One count of using a forged document contrary to section 145.1(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty for this offence is imprisonment for 5 years.