BEVERLY HILLS—A Hancock Park couple was charged on April 17, after a Grand Jury indictment was unsealed revealing that the couple was allegedly involved in the human trafficking of three women from Indonesia to work at their Hancock Park home and other properties they owned. Aasti Halim, 55, and Hendra Anwar, 62, both pleaded not guilty to the charges.
They are both facing three counts each of human trafficking and one count each of conspiracy to commit a crime. Both defendants are expected to return for a pretrial hearing on May 8. Bail was set at $300,000 for each defendant.
From May 2010 and September 2013, Halim and Anwar allegedly worked with others in Indonesia to transport the women under false pretenses and misrepresented facts to embassy officials on the guise of obtaining travel documents for the victims.
Once the victim arrived in the Los Angeles County region, the defendants took the victim’s passports and forced them to work at two Hancock Park homes and one Beverly Hills property, which both Halim and Anwar owned.
The couple was charged in May 2014 by the District Attorney’s Organized Crimes Division in case BA423657. The case was dismissed after the arraignment on the superseding indictment. Charges came to the suspects thanks to a seven month investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division and the FBI. If convicted, both Anwar and Halim could face up to 17 years behind bars.