West Vancouver woman accused of human trafficking pleads not guilty at start of trial

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.