...By Gift BADEWO for TDPel Media.
Couple Charged with Modern-Day Slavery Offences
The man, aged 44, and the woman, aged 29, hailing from Point Cook, are slated to appear in court today.
This comes as a result of an extensive eight-month investigation carried out by the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
Tip-off from a Healthcare Worker
A tip-off was received from a healthcare worker in October 2022, who, after visiting the address, had growing concerns that the woman was allegedly showing signs of being a victim of human trafficking.
This tip-off sparked the subsequent investigation.
Allegations of Domestic Servitude
The AFP has made claims that the woman was kept in a state of domestic servitude in the Point Cook home between January and October 2022.
These accusations culminated in a police raid on the property on October 27th of the same year.
Charges and Penalties
The accused couple has been charged with possessing a slave, coercing and threatening another person into entering and remaining in servitude, and maintaining control over a slave.
These serious offences can attract a maximum penalty of up to 25 years in jail.
Community Involvement in Stopping Human Trafficking
AFP Detective Superintendent Simone Butcher emphasized the importance of community involvement in fighting human trafficking.
She pointed out that the AFP offers training for first responders, healthcare professionals, and community members to recognize the signs of human trafficking and slavery.
She strongly urged anyone who suspects or witnesses anything suspicious related to human trafficking to report it promptly.