West Australian Couple Faces Charges in Human Trafficking Case

Australia, Police

Article: A West Australian couple is set to appear in Perth Magistrates Court today, facing charges related to human trafficking. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) conducted an investigation and charged the man, 32, and woman, 37, with offenses including debt bondage, falsifying visa documents, and passport offenses. The couple is accused of providing false details on visa applications for a foreign citizen who came to Australia to work as a masseuse in their business in regional WA.

According to the AFP, the couple allegedly took the woman’s passport, underpaid her, and forced her to pay off excessive debts that were unreasonably allocated to her. The couple arranged a tourist visa instead of a work visa for the woman by submitting false details on the documents. They also promised to arrange a visa for her to study once she reached Australia.

The alleged mistreatment of the worker was investigated by the AFP, leading to the charges against the couple. The AFP’s Human Trafficking Team acting Sergeant Kevin Loermans highlighted the importance of combating slavery-like practices and urged individuals to be aware of the indicators of such practices and report anything suspicious.

It is illegal to retain someone’s passport without their permission, and all workers in Australia are entitled to a minimum wage and certain conditions. The AFP provides a helpline and encourages anyone who suspects exploitation to seek help.

The West Australian couple, a Chinese national aged 32 and a 37-year-old woman, have each been charged with multiple offenses. The case serves as a reminder of the need to protect vulnerable individuals and ensure their safety, health, and welfare.