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Woman Here, Sister In Australia Face Human Trafficking, Money Laundering Charges

"She is charged with her sister Geeta Anjana Chandar with 17 counts of trafficking in persons, 16 counts of ob­taining property by deception and two counts of money laundering. Chandar is currently in Australia."
02 Mar 2019 10:00
Woman Here, Sister In Australia Face Human Trafficking, Money Laundering Charges

A Nausori woman who is facing trafficking and money laundering charges will take her plea next month.

Seta Sanjana Ram appeared before the Justice Daniel Goundar at the High Court in Suva yesterday.

She is charged with her sister Geeta Anjana Chandar with 17 counts of trafficking in persons, 16 counts of ob­taining property by deception and two counts of money laundering. Chandar is currently in Australia.

The two were alleged to have facilitated the travel of 17 Fijian citizens who were allegedly exploited and became alleged victims of human trafficking in New Zealand be­tween April and September 2014. The pair are also alleged to have obtained a total of $52,142 from the 17 complainants by deception.

For the money laundering charges, it is alleged that Chan­dra, between September 2016 and March 2017, disposed of $79,991.40 into a Bank South Pacific account and between February and May 2014, Ram allegedly disposed of $2525 into two Australia and New Zealand bank accounts that were the proceeds of crime.

Ram told the court that she had found a job to cater for herself and sought for a bail variation in her curfew hours as it restricted her to work up till 5pm.

She told the court that her work started at 7am and ends at 8pm, however, because of her curfew hours set between 5am and 5pm only, she was able to work till 5pm.

State lawyer Swastika Sharma told the court that the Prosecution had no objection if the curfew condition was cancelled from her bail conditions.

She also told the court that the Australian Police were working with Interpol to bring the second accused, Chan­dar, to Fiji.

Justice Goundar cancelled the curfew conditions and transferred the matter to Justice Thushara Rajasinghe’s court for plea. The matter was adjourned to April 23.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

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