Accused human trafficker told immigration she needed care-giver for Canadian visit

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VANCOUVER - A British Columbia woman accused of human trafficking told immigration officials she was bringing her caregiver to Canada for a couple of months to help her during a visit because she suffers from vertigo and osteo-arthritis.

Citizenship and Immigration officer Jessica Poon is testifying today at the B.C. Supreme Court trial of Mumtaz Ladha, who is accused of luring a 22-year-old Tanzanian woman to Canada with the promise of a job in a hair salon, only to force her to work around the clock as a maid in her $4-million West Vancouver mansion.

Court heard the original application for a visitor's visa for the young woman said she was coming for two months and had been working for Ladha in Tanzania for seven years.

That application was denied, but a second was approved after Ladha provided bank statements that included a half-million-dollar balance in an account in Canada.

Once in this country, another application was approved to extend the woman's stay until July 14, 2009.

In June 2009, the woman fled the home in the well-heeled British Properties neighbourhood for a women's shelter.

Organizations: B.C. Supreme Court

Geographic location: Canada, West Vancouver, British Columbia Tanzania

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