Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Haunting footage reveals moment Sydney man trafficked wife and a baby to India


A Sydney man was convicted in January for trafficking his wife and a two-month-old baby daughter to India.

Haunting new vision shows the moment the man holds the woman’s shoulder while convincing her to board the plane.

He is flagged by his mother and a friend who corner his wife before ushering her toward the departure gates.

The 29-year-old man from Lidcombe in Sydney‘s west, was charged by the Australian Federal Police and sentenced to 21 months jail in January, becoming the first Australian convicted for an exit human trafficking offence.

Court documents revealed he purchased a one-way ticket for his Indian-born wife and Australian-born child to travel from Sydney to India in March 2017.

The woman told police she feared for her life and was threatened with murder if she did not agree to his demands.

Security footage captured in Sydney International Airport shows the visibly distressed woman having an argument with the man at the departures area before boarding the plane with her baby.

The man tried to withdraw his wife’s visa application, preventing her return to Australia. But she managed to return two months later and alerted authorities to the situation.

Federal police raided a home in Lidcombe in September 2017, slapping the man with a court attendance notice.

He was then arrested in November at Sydney Airport trying to board a flight to Bangkok.

He pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking in persons (exit from Australia).

His wife issued a powerful victim statement to the court, saying the incident had a severe impact on her life.

“Because of his actions, I live in constant fear and stress knowing the lengths he will go to find us and harm us. This fear and stress impacts my physical, emotional and mental health,” she said.

“I have to be careful about who we talk to and where we go, to make sure that our private information is not shared with him. I am very careful when I leave the house. I avoid leaving the house unless absolutely necessary.

“Because of his actions and threats, I am constantly worried about my daughter. I worry about this every day. I am always thinking about how to keep my daughter safe. This is very stressful for me. Ordinary things like going out to the shops or to the park has become more difficult because I fear for our safety.”

AFP Commander Hilda Sirec said human trafficking is not often discussed or even considered an issue in Australia.

31/03/21 Erin Lyons/

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