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Counsel to apply for formal bail for alleged human trafficker

September 4, 2018 12:57 am

31-year-old Seeta Sanjana Ram appeared in the Suva High Court this morning charged with various offenses.

Ram is charged with 17 counts of human trafficking and one count of money laundering.

It’s alleged that Ram and her twin sister Geeta Anjana Chandar operated a travel agency on Nina Street in Suva where they are alleged to have facilitated the travel of 17 Fijians to New Zealand between April to August 2014.

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It’s alleged that the 17 Fijians were exploited through slavery and became victims of Human Trafficking in Auckland, New Zealand.

Defense counsel notified the judge that they would be submitting a formal bail application with strict conditions, including the suggestion of four sureties as opposed to two.

State counsel noted that their position would be to object to bail given the seriousness of the offense and with the number of complainants, there was a risk that Ram could interfere with the witnesses.

Ram’s counsel told the court that she only assisted with visas for the 17 complainants and had no idea what happened to them when they were in New Zealand and objected to the charge of human trafficking.

The counsel says that it was Ram’s sister Chandar and her de-facto partner that dealt with the complainants and the work they did in New Zealand.

An arrest warrant was issued for Chandar who is believed to have traveled to Australia for a holiday and was subsequently charged in absentia along with her sister.

High Court Judge Justice Daniel Goundar has given the defense 14 days to file their formal bail application and the State seven days to respond.

Ram has been remanded in custody.

The case will be recalled on the 28th of this month.

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