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Vancouver woman not guilty in human-trafficking case

Mumtaz Ladha waits to get into an elevator to go back into court from an underground parkade at the end of the first day of a human trafficking trial at B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, Wednesday September 4, 2013.

DARRYL DYCK/THE CANADIAN PRESS

A Tanzanian businesswoman accused of bringing a young woman to British Columbia to work as an unpaid maid has been found not guilty of human trafficking and employing a foreign national.

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

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.

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But Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon says the young woman gave evidence that was not credible and the Crown did not prove that the woman was coerced into coming to Canada or was working for the family here.

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 young woman left the mansion in upscale West Vancouver and went to a women's shelter.

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