A couple Vietnamese couple from the western Finnish town of Nykarleby went on trial on Tuesday on charges of human trafficking that date back to 2009.
The trial got underway at Ostrobothnia District Court in Vaasa after a long delay. This was due to the defendants’ demand that witnesses be brought in from Vietnam to testify.
Authorities suspect that the couple exploited 26 Vietnamese employees. They face charges of human trafficking, aggravated embezzlement and assault.
The couple, themselves Vietnamese-born, allegedly paid their workers very low wages – or in some cases none at all – and otherwise mistreated them.
The maximum penalty for human trafficking is six years’ imprisonment.
The planned three days of hearings were to have begun more than a year ago, but was postponed when the former employers insisted on summoning witnesses from Vietnam.