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B.C. woman accused of human trafficking pleads not guilty at start of trial

Mumtaz Ladha waits to get into an elevator to go back into court from an underground parkade while trying to avoid having her photograph taken at the end of the first day of a human trafficking trial at B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday September 4, 2013. A West Vancouver woman accused of enslaving a domestic worker has pleaded not guilty to one charge of human trafficking and three other offences under the Immigration Act in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver Wednesday.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
September 04, 2013 - 8:26 PM

VANCOUVER - A woman accused of human trafficking for bringing a Tanzanian woman to Canada and forcing her to work around the clock has pleaded not guilty to four counts under the Immigration Act.

When RCMP announced charges against Mumtaz Ladha in 2011, they said the African woman claimed Ladha forced her into servitude and gave her table scraps to survive.

At the start of Ladha's trial today, a counsellor at a Vancouver transition house described the woman's arrival on the doorstep in June 2009.

As the woman told her story, Laurie Parker-Stuart testified that she began to wonder if it was a case of human trafficking and helped the woman contact police.

Ladha was charged in May 2011 and was later arrested at the Vancouver airport, as she returned to Canada from abroad.

RCMP said the 21-year-old victim was promised a job in a hair salon, but upon her arrival in 2008 had her passport taken away, and had to work up to 18 hours a day, seven days a week without pay before she finally fled to a women's shelter.

News from © The Canadian Press , 2013
The Canadian Press

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