A Bay of Plenty kiwifruit contractor is facing charges accusing him of exploiting migrant workers on at least seven occasions.
Jafar Kurisi appeared in Tauranga District Court today to face the charges, which are seven of exploiting an employee and one of obstructing the course of justice.
The exploitation charges come under the Immigration Act 2009 and each one carries a maximum penalty of up to seven years' imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $100,000.
Kurisi was originally facing one exploitation charge but more were added and heard in court today.
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Defence counsel Bill Nabney requested an adjournment of the case until he could speak with Kurisi as to how he will plead.
The request was granted by Judge Kevin Phillips. Kurisi was remanded on bail to reappear in the same court on February 5.
The case comes as a result of a joint investigation by Immigration New Zealand supported by New Zealand Police and the Labour Inspectorate, which was launched in July after Zespri alerted INZ to allegations that some migrant workers were being exploited.