Canadian Human-Trafficking Case

Author info:

Mumtaz Ladha, a woman from Vancouver, said her long-time caregiver from Tanzania was to help her because she suffered from arthritis and vertigo, and she would be supported by Ladha for the duration of the say.

“Letter from Canadian citizen employer on file states principal applicant has worked for her for five years. Employer states owns hair dresser salon and is a resident of Tanzania,” Jessica Poon, a citizenship officer for Citizenship and Immigration Canada, read in court from the woman’s immigration file.

The woman’s initial application was declined for lack of proof of funds by both Ladha and the Tanzanian woman.

“Not sufficient documents on file to assess principal applicants assets or ties, or employer ties to Tanzania. Given no previous travel, weak establishment of ties, no proof of assets or funds, I’m not satisfied the principal applicant is a bona fide visitor and will leave Canada at end of stay. Also not satisfied employer has sufficient funds to support trip,” Poon read from the file entered as evidence.

A second application was then submitted which included a note from Ladha’s doctor and documents to prove Ladha owned a salon in Tanzania.  Also, Ladha included the business card of her daughter who was a professor at the university of British Columbia and with whom they would be staying with.

As requested, the woman submitted Ladha’s bank statement showing a balance of over $549,000, which was accepted as more than sufficient.

As a result, the woman obtained a six-month visitor visa, which was in turn extended via an application and was to expire July 14, 2009. On June 3, 2009, the woman ran away from Ladha’s home for a women’s shelter. Instead of the promised job in a hair salon, the woman was forced to work as a maid in Ladha’s 4-million dollar British Property home in West Vancouver.

Ladha was charged with human trafficking, two counts of misrepresentation to immigration officials and one employment related offence.

Defense has argued that the woman was treated like a family member, as she was not an employee. It was reveled in court that the woman arrived at the shelter without any money, clothing or her passport.

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