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Second sentencing over people trafficking

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/02/2017

A second defendant in a people trafficking case has been sentenced to 12 months' home detention and ordered to pay $55,000 in reparation.

Fruit farm labour contractor Jafar Kurisi, also known as Md Wagid Ali, was sentenced in the High Court at Tauranga on Thursday on four representative charges.

In December, Faroz Ali, also known as Feroz Ali, was jailed for nine years and six months after being found guilty of 15 human trafficking charges involving Fijian nationals.

Ali, a Fijian national with New Zealand residency, was the first person to be convicted of people trafficking in New Zealand.

Kurisi faced charges relating to 13 workers who were not entitled to work, including four Fijian nationals who were Ali's victims.

The court was told they were not paid the minimum wage or holiday pay, and were provided with accommodation and food that were of a poor standard.

The Fijians were enticed to work in New Zealand after answering advertisements placed in Fijian newspapers by Ali's wife and sister-in-law.

They were charged large sums of money but when they arrived they were forced to work illegally for long hours, lived in cramped conditions and were paid little, if anything.

They either worked for Ali's gib fixing business in Auckland or were sent to Tauranga to work in horticulture.

Immigration New Zealand assistant general manager Peter Devoy says Kurisi's sentencing "closes a chapter on what has been an appalling case".

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