Indian businessman gets 10 years in prison for human trafficking
An Indian businessman who forced an Indian man to perform domestic labour in his home for three years without pay after he was recruited to come to Jamaica was this morning sentenced to 10 years in prison for human trafficking.
Roshan Shegure was also ordered to serve five years for concealment of travel documents.
The sentences are, however, to run concurrently.
His wife, Danett, who was convicted for facilitating human trafficking, was ordered to pay $1 million or serve three years.
Justice Judith Pusey, in handing down the sentences, also ordered that the victim be compensated in the amount of US$18,337.
This includes salary payments for the domestic labour and the victim's job at their jewellery store as well as monies for his pain and suffering.
The couple was last month found guilty of human trafficking charges following a trial in the Home Circuit Court.
The wife, following sentencing, broke down in tears and begged the judge to allow her husband to come home.
"The kids are going to ask where he is," she mumbled through her tears.
The husband, in the meantime, who was seen in a jovial mood with his family before the sentencing, appeared stunned and upset after the sentences were handed down.
Prior to passing down the sentence, Pusey said that the husband was deliberate in his action and must be punished.
According to her, a fine would not be adequate and would not fit the crime nor sufficiently serve as a deterrent to others.
The judge said she also found that the husband was very manipulative and had also manipulated his wife who believed that what was happening in their home was lawful.
The victim was recruited to work in the jewellery store but when he came to Jamaica he was told he would be living with the couple.
The victim, while living with the couple, was isolated from his friends and family and was not allowed to make phone calls and ended up trying to take his life in 2017, before eventually escaping and reporting the matter to the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency in May 2019.
The husband is said to have enticed the victim with a job after his father suffered a stroke and his family started experiencing financial difficulties in India.
The victim was sent a contract in which he was told that he would be provided with accommodation, medical coverage, transportation and food.
It was also agreed that he would be paid 10,000 rupees or approximately J$18,691 monthly and that part of the money would be sent home to his family.
He was also to be paid an additional 5,000 rupees each year and the sums were to be sent to his father's account.
However, he was given a second contract, which was for four years, when he arrived in Jamaica.
It detailed that he would only be paid 10,000 rupees for the last two years and that the money would be paid monthly at the end of each year.
It would be sent to his family.
Under the contract, he was to receive training in the first year and paid 5,000 rupees in the second year and 7,500 rupees in the second year.
The court heard that when the victim arrived, he was surprised to learn that he would be living with the couple.
A day after, he was told that he would be required to do housework and a list of duties, including cooking, cleaning and washing, was prepared by the wife.
He would get up at 6 a.m. and prepare breakfast for the family and, mop the house and leave for the store job at 7a.m. and return at 8 p.m., when he would prepare dinner and do more housework.
The court also heard that the businessman had slapped the victim in his face in front of customers and had also thrown a fan at his head in the store.
He was also abused at the couple's home.
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