Indian singer convicted of trafficking jobseekers to America

Daler Mehndi was sentenced to two years in prison but was freed on bail to appeal his conviction

Punjabi pop singer Daler Mehndi appears at the District Court complex in Patiala on Friday.


NEW DELHI: A popular Indian pop singer has been convicted of human trafficking and cheating after a court found he pretended people were in his performance troupe so they could get jobs in North America.

Daler Mehndi says he is innocent. He was sentenced to two years in prison but was freed on bail Friday to appeal his conviction.

Prosecutors say Mehndi and his brother took “passage money” from Indians they offered to disguise as performers in his troupe. The jobseekers could then stay in the United States and Canada to find work.

The cheating conviction alleges the brothers took money from some Indians and never took them abroad.

Mehndi shot into fame in the 1990s with Punjabi-language songs and energetic dancing. He also lent his voice for Bollywood film songs.

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