A cake shop owner sensationally arrested in his luxurious Sydney home will face slavery and human trafficking charges at trial.
Abid Maghul Shah, 60, and Ayesha Julia Shah, 49, filed a plea of not guilty after appearing in District Court at Sydney Downing Center on Tuesday, a year after their arrest.
A couple who own five cake merchant shops in the city’s western suburbs have been accused of enslaving victims in their business.
On November 15, 2021, two people were arrested by Australian Federal Police at a luxurious $4 million mansion in Denham Court, southwest Sydney, after a three-year investigation into allegations of abuse in a cake parlor. .
Police allege Shah verbally abused employees and threatened them with deportation if they did not work hard enough.
In addition, he allegedly confiscated the passports of foreign-born workers and monitored calls to family members abroad.
Police allege that the alleged victim was isolated from the community, did not receive a stable wage or payment for hours worked, and was dependent on his wife for food.
Following a report from the Fair Work Ombudsman, federal police established Operation Silverbolt in May 2018 to investigate the circumstances surrounding the employee’s life.
Officers gathered eyewitness accounts and evidence of alleged exploitation and abuse by businesses.
Mr. Shah was charged with aggravated deception of others regarding the entry and confiscation of documents and two counts of conducting business involving slavery, and Mr. Shah was charged with two counts of conducting business involving slavery. was indicted on
In July of this year, two of the five indictments against the couple were dropped.
One charge of conducting business involving imprisonment was dropped, dismissed against both cake shop owners, and the remaining charges were found to continue.
The couple filed a formal plea not guilty to the remaining charges this week and promised to stand trial in a district court.
The Shahs were granted conditional bail and are scheduled to return to court for arraignment in December.
https://thewest.com.au/news/sydney-cake-shop-owners-accused-of-slavery-to-face-trial-after-pleading-not-guilty-c-8905489 After Pleading Not Guilty, Sydney Cake Shop Owner Indicted and Tried for Slavery