Mumtaz Ladha, accused human trafficker, found not guilty
Acquitted on charges she illegally brought a woman to Canada to be her maid
The wealthy Vancouver-area woman accused of human trafficking for allegedly bringing a young African single mother to Canada to be an unpaid housekeeper has been found not guilty.
Mumtaz Ladha, 60, was acquitted on charges of human trafficking, two counts of misrepresenting facts to the High Commission of Canada in Tanzania and misrepresenting facts to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Ladha was accused of lying to the young woman, whose name is banned from publication, and illegally bringing her into the country in August 2008. She was allegedly forced to work long hours without pay at Ladha's West Vancouver home. Prosecutors had argued that Ladha lied to immigration officials in order to bring the woman to Canada illegally.
But Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon said the young woman's testimony was not credible and the Crown did not prove that she was coerced into coming to Canada or working for the Ladha family. The judge added that Ladha had no reason to hire the housekeeper under the table, but said the complainant had a motive to lie.
The judge heard that the woman worked for Ladha at a hair salon in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's largest and richest city, and believed she was coming to Canada to work in a salon here. In 2009, the woman left Ladha's mansion and went to a women’s shelter.
With files from Canadian Press and the CBC's Jason Proctor