People trafficking charges have been laid against a Bangladeshi couple who are New Zealand citizens.
The couple were jointly charged under the Crimes Act 1961 for arranging by deception the entry of two Bangladeshi nationals into New Zealand.
The pair appeared at the Auckland District Court today and were remanded on bail until December 11 on the charges brought by Immigration New Zealand.
The couple and the victims have been granted interim name suppression.
Trafficking in persons is punishable under the Crimes Act with imprisonment for up to 20 years, a fine of $500,000 or both.
One of the defendants faces an additional 28 charges relating to the exploitation of five workers on temporary entry visas, the provision of false and misleading information to an immigration officer, aiding and abetting to breach visa conditions, and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
The other faces a further 11 charges relating to the exploitation of five workers on temporary entry visas, the provision of false and misleading information to an immigration officer and aiding and abetting to breach visa conditions.
The maximum penalty on the exploitation, false and misleading information and aiding and abetting charges is seven years' imprisonment and / or a fine not exceeding $100,000.
The maximum penalty for attempting to pervert the course of justice is seven years' imprisonment.
Immigration said it was unable to provide any further comment as the matter was now before the courts.
The first trafficking charges laid in New Zealand were brought by Immigration in August 2015 against two men for arranging by deception the entry of Indian nationals into NZ.
They were both found not guilty of trafficking charges but one was convicted on other charges.
The first person to be convicted of people trafficking was sentenced in December 2016 to a total of nine years and six months in jail and ordered to pay a total of $28,167 reparation to his victims.