Three accused of Sydney human trafficking

Jodie Stephens

Two women and a man are accused of human trafficking in Sydney after allegedly employing an Indonesian maid who worked for years in "reprehensible" conditions and was not allowed to return home.

Police allege the trio employed the 26-year-old maid in their Sydney residences from July 2014, with the woman working significant hours without remuneration.

She was in the country illegally from August 2014 and was not allowed access to her passport or to return home, according to the Australian Federal Police.

"This is an example of someone being brought to Australia without their informed consent and forced to remain and work in conditions that most Australians would find reprehensible," the AFP's Superintendent Monica Semrad said in a statement on Tuesday.

The two accused women, 35 and 38, and the man, 34, were arrested at Eastlakes in Sydney's south on Monday night and charged with concealing and harbouring a non-citizen.

The 38-year-old woman, Kwei Sunn Liw, was also charged with perverting the course of justice.

She was granted bail during an appearance at Sydney's Central Local Court on Tuesday, while her two co-accused have been granted police bail ahead of court appearances later in December.

Their arrests follow an AFP investigation that began in January when NSW Police officers went to an Eastlakes home following allegations a woman living there was not permitted to leave.

Ms Semrad said human trafficking in Australia was a crime that often occurred in plain sight.

"We urge members of the public to speak up if they think someone is being trafficked or held against their will," she said.

"Forcing someone to work and remain in Australia is a crime and police will do all that they can to assist victims and ensure offenders are placed before the courts."