A man kept for 16 months in ‘conditions akin to slavery’ in a Sydney restaurant has been awarded $186,000 in unpaid wages. But why is his ’employer’ the only person successfully convicted of a labour trafficking charge in Australia for orchestrating this 457 visa scam? Dulu Ram left his wife and two children in India to travel to Australia to begin work as a cook in a restaurant in Eastwood in Sydney in August 2007. He spent the next 16 months working 12-hour days in the restaurant. He had just one day off in all that time – Christmas Day, when the restaurant was closed. He slept on a mattress in the dry storeroom, and bathed using water from a bucket.

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