Father, son charged with human trafficking in Amsterdam laundromat

An Amsterdam father and son are facing charges of human trafficking. According to the Public Prosecutor, they exploited undocumented migrants and made them work in their laundromat without protection, Het Parool reports.

In a pro-forma hearing of the case, the Prosecutor stated that 47-year-old Mazahr U. and his 21-year-old son put undocumented migrants to work in a shed in their large laundromat in the Westelijk Havengebied. The men, mostly from South Asia, had to work with chemicals for six to seven days a week, sometimes even twelve hours a day, and without protective clothing. They were in danger of electrocution and worked in extremely high temperatures. If they complained that they wanted a salary, U. threatened to call the police. He also abused one of the men.

The Public Prosecutor raided the shed in November last year. The first signals of exploitation came in in July.

The case will be tried substantively at a later time. U.'s lawyer first wants the company's bank accounts examined to prove that the migrants were paid properly. The lawyer also wants to prove that there was a proper ventilation system in the building.

A human trafficking charge could mean up to twelve years in prison for U. and his son. The court decided that U. could await his trial in freedom. His son was released shortly after the raid in November.