B.C. judge finds woman not guilty of human trafficking of young African woman

VANCOUVER – A Tanzanian businesswoman accused of bringing a young woman to British Columbia to work as an unpaid maid has been found not guilty on all charges against her, including human trafficking.

Mumtaz Ladha was charged under the Immigration Act with human trafficking, employing a foreign national without authorization, misrepresenting facts to the High Commission of Canada, and misrepresenting facts to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

But B.C. Supreme Court Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon ruled the complainant, who can’t be named, gave evidence that was not credible and the Crown did not prove she was coerced into coming to Canada.

In fact, Fenlon said in her ruling Ladha was generous to the woman, who then took advantage of that generosity.

About two dozen supporters of Ladha’s erupted in cheers when the judge read her ruling.

The 60-year-old was accused of lying to the young woman, whose name is banned from publication, and then lying to immigration officials to bring the woman to Canada illegally in August 2008.

The judge heard that the woman worked for Ladha at a hair salon in Dar es Salaam, and believed she was coming to Canada to work in a salon here.

In 2009 the complainant left the mansion in upscale West Vancouver and went to a women’s shelter.

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