The owner of a silviculture company that made national headlines in the summer of 2010 after its workers were found living in deplorable conditions in a bush camp near Golden made his second appearance in Revelstoke court last Wednesday.
Khalid Bajwa, the owner of silviculture contractor Khaira Enterprises, is charged with two counts of using a forged document and two counts of fraud over $5,000.
The appearance was his second in Revelstoke court following one last November. Once again the case was adjourned for two months, to Mar. 7.
Bajwa told the court that his lawyer was in India at the moment and he wanted his co-workers to be present when he made his plea. He also said he needed two months to go through his records.
Bajwa asked for an adjournment to April but judge Mark Takahashi gave him until March.
At his first appearance, Bajwa told the Times Review he intended on contesting the charges.
According to court documents obtained by the Times Review, the two forgery charges allege that Bajwa forged two fire suppression certificate documents, including signatures of a Revelstoke man. The two fraud charges allege he defrauded Tom Austin, representative of B.C. Timber Sales, and Scott King of Louisiana Pacific Corp. Both organizations are involved in issuing silviculture contracts to subcontractors like Khaira.
The case stems from the discovery of workers living in deplorable conditions at a silviculture camp near Golden. The workers, many of them recent migrants from Africa, were found living in substandard conditions without proper food or sanitary conditions. Many of them were not paid or underpaid for their work and have faced an uphill struggle since then to get paid.