Prison sentence for false refugee status claims

Photo / File.
Photo / File.

One of three men found not guilty on New Zealand's first human trafficking charges has been sentenced to 25 months in prison for his role in organising false refugee claims.

Another received 10 months home detention and 300 hours of community service.

Jaswinder Singh Sangha and Kulwant Singh were sentenced today after being found guilty of 11 counts of supplying false statements to a refugee status officer following an Immigration New Zealand (INZ) investigation which revealed the pair had organised false refugee claims for 11 Indian nationals.

Singh was sentenced to 25 months imprisonment. Sangha was sentenced to 10 months home detention and 300 hours of community service.

INZ's manager of its serious offences unit, Cam Moore, said the sentences showed that the unit had done its job and "where there is evidence of individuals flouting the law, Immigration New Zealand will not hesitate to bring those individuals to justice."

"Any allegations of people trafficking and immigration fraud are taken seriously and will be fully investigated- it's a serious crime and ruins people's lives. I hope today's sentencing sends a clear message to others considering doing the same- act within the law or you will find yourself in court."

New Zealand's second ever people trafficking trial will take place in August and involves a man who allegedly helped 16 people into the country unlawfully, charging them large sums of money for the opportunity to work in New Zealand.

- NZ Herald

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