Woman skeptical of servitude claim:testimony
VANCOUVER - A woman who helped an alleged victim of human trafficking escape to a shelter in the Vancouver area says she was initially skeptical of the African woman's claims of being forced into domestic servitude.
Tigist (tig-est) Begashaw told Mumtaz Ladha's B.C. Supreme Court trial that she first met the young woman at a bus stop in 2009 and began giving her food or money because the woman said she was hungry.
Ladha faces several charges, including the human-trafficking of the Tanzanian woman who can't be named under a publication ban.
Begashaw testified that she wasn't sure about the victim's claims of her working and living conditions, but eventually advised her to seek help at a women's shelter.
The Crown alleges the woman was lured to Canada in 2008 with the promise of a job in a salon, but was forced to work long hours in Ladha's home for no pay and no means of escape.
Ladha has pleaded not guilty to four charges under Immigration Act.