Man accused of keeping woman as slave


A BRISBANE man has been charged with a human trafficking offence.

It is alleged by Australian Federal Police that the 41-year-old forced a 29-year-old woman to remain employed at his Brisbane business for a year-and-a-half.

In March 2018 the AFP received a referral from the Fair Work Ombudsman regarding the 41-year-old's alleged behaviour.

The victim provided a statement to police alleging between November 2015 and March 2017 she was subjected to extremely excessive work hours, significant under-remuneration, bullying and harassment, threats of violence and intimidation and psychological abuse.

It will also be alleged the man threatened the victim with blackmail, physical violence and forced debt if she resigned from the business.

In her statement to police, the victim said she was fearful of the 41-year-old man because he had assaulted her on several occasions and previously threatened her with a weapon.

Last week, AFP officers executed a search warrant at the man's Robertson premises and seized a number of electronic items.

The man was arrested and charged with one count of causing a person to enter into or remain in servitude. The maximum penalty for this offence is 15 years imprisonment.

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Tim Puchala said human trafficking investigations could be a lengthy process but investigators remained committed to catching those who prey on others.

"Investigations of this nature are very reliant on the victims coming forward and making their situation known to police," Det Supt Puchala said.

"We commend those who have faced these terrible circumstances for their bravery in coming forward."

The man is due to face Brisbane Magistrates Court today.