An African drug dealer who entered a sham marriage within weeks of arriving in New Zealand to help him get residency is to be deported.
Sylver Dube was found guilty of more than 80 methamphetamine charges and was sentenced to 15 years in prison for arranging for 3.1kg - with a street value of more than $3 million - to be smuggled into the country. The 35-year-old arranged for parcels to be posted from South Africa and Nigeria to hotels in Auckland which he then picked up, before he was arrested with 200g in February 2010.
Born in South Africa but raised in Nigeria, Dube came to New Zealand on a visitor's visa in March 2009 and met Auckland woman Tihere Ford a few weeks later.
The pair's marriage certificate shows they wed in Manukau on July 24, 2009. After his arrest, Ms Ford told police they did not live together but he paid her $100 a week for board.
The arrangement was to help him with his immigration into the country.
Ms Ford later gave evidence against him at trial, where their marriage was described as a "sham".
The couple agreed in court that Dube stayed in Ms Ford's home only two or three nights a week, and shared a room with her teenage son.
Dube then used his stepson to send money to Nigeria and South Africa through Western Union transfers.
Some of the transactions were completed in the name on a stolen driver's licence. More than $450,000 was sent to Africa in the four months leading up to Dube's arrest.
Judge Grant Fraser sentenced him to 15 years in prison and ruled Dube was ineligible for parole until he served half that time. He will be deported on his release.
March 29, 2009: Arrived in Auckland from South Africa.
July 24: Marries Tihere Ford in Manukau registry office.
Feb 22, 2010: Arrested on methamphetamine charges.
Sept 27, 2012: Convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison.By Jared Savage @jaredsavageNZH Email Jared