A man who allegedly trafficked his Indian wife and their two-month-old daughter from Sydney to India has appeared in court, facing charges of human trafficking, general dishonesty and document forgery.
It is alleged Pardeep Lohan, from Lidcombe, used threats, coercion and deception to force his wife and Australian-born child to travel to India in March this year.
The 27-year-old was first targeted by detectives from the Australian Federal Police Human Trafficking Team in May.
It followed a referral to the AFP from non-government organisation Anti-Slavery Australia.
Detective Superintendent Dan Evans, coordinator of the AFP's Victim Based Crime Command, said the woman involved "feared she was being forced to travel to India without her consent".
"Once she was overseas we will allege that the suspect in this case contacted the Department of Immigration to attempt to have the victims' visa application cancelled," he said.
Police will also allege that the two-month-old baby's passport was removed, to prevent her from returning to Australia.
Court documents reveal Mr Lohan knowingly used a false withdrawal of visa application form (Department of Immigration form 1446) "to induce a commonwealth public official to accept it as genuine and dishonestly influence the exercise of a public duty or function."
Det Sup Evans said he could not comment on a possible motive at this time.
It is understood both alleged victims have now returned to Australia and are being supported under the governments Support for Trafficked People program.
"This is a reminder that forcing someone to leave Australia using coercion, threats of deception is an offence under our laws, and strict Commonwealth trafficking offences may apply," Det Sup Evans said.
Mr Lohan appeared briefly at the Downing Centre on Tuesday morning, where his matter was adjourned until December 19, when he can obtain legal representation. He remains on bail.
Approached by the media outside court, Mr Lohan appeared frustrated and brushed off all questions.
However when asked about the allegation that he was a human trafficker he responded, by yelling, "Yes, I am. I sell human organs. You want some human organs, like kidney?"
Mr Lohan has been charged with one count of trafficking in persons (exit from Australia), which holds a maximum penalty of 12 years imprisonment.
He has also been charged with one count of general dishonesty and one count of using a forged document, which carry maximum penalties of 10 and five years respectively.