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Woman charged with 16 counts of human trafficking offences

August 20, 2018 5:01 am

A 31-year-old Seeta Sanjana Ram of Nasole in Nasinu appeared in the Suva Magistrates Court this afternoon charged with 35 counts of various offences, 16 of which involve allegations of human trafficking.

Ram is charged alongside her sister Geeta Anjana Chandar who resides in Australia.

Presiding Magistrate Waleen George granted an application by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for an arrest warrant for Chandar who was charged in absentia with similar offenses.

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The ODDP will work with Interpol to extradite Chandar from Australia to answer to the charges of human trafficking as well as money laundering and obtaining property by deception.

The two sisters had been operating a travel agent business from Nina Street, Suva and are alleged to have placed an advertisement in one of the dailies about employment opportunities in New Zealand.

The two are then alleged to have facilitated the travel of seventeen Fijian citizens who were exploited through slavery and became victims of Human Trafficking in Auckland New Zealand between April to August of 2014.

Both suspects had remitted and received more than $83,000 to and from an accomplice Faroz Ali who was convicted in NZ last year for human trafficking offences, the first such conviction in the country’s history.

The case against the two sisters has been transferred to the Suva High Court with Ram remanded in custody.

The case is scheduled for first call at 9am on the third of September.

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