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Darwin man accused of trafficking wife into India

A Darwin man faces up to 12 years in jail for allegedly abusing and stealing from his wife, as well as tricking her into leaving the country.

Australian Federal Police began investigating the 28-year-old after a tip-off from the public.

They allege the man was physically abusive to his 27-year-old wife and coerced or threatened her into giving him her wages, access to bank accounts and money from her family.

He is accused of stealing more than $60,000 from the woman and her family.

The man also allegedly deceived his wife into travelling to India in February 2019 under the pretence of organising visas for travel to the United States.

He is then allegedly to have provided false and misleading information to the Federal Circuit Court when he began divorce proceedings in January 2020.

The man faced Darwin Local Court on Friday charged with one count of exit trafficking a person and faces up to 12 years imprisonment if convicted.

“This is a reminder that forcing someone to leave Australia using coercion, threats or deception is an offence under our laws, and Commonwealth human trafficking offences and penalties apply,” AFP Northern Command’s Detective Superintendent Paula Hudson said in a statement.

The woman has since returned to Australia and is receiving support from the AFP and Red Cross.

The AFP received 223 reports of human trafficking, slavery and slavery-like offences in 2019/20.


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