A teenage migrant fearing deportation after being exploited by her own mother as a sex slave and sold some 1000 times to men around Auckland is being supported by government agencies.
Kasmeer Lata, 36, was sentenced this week in the High Court at Auckland to six years and 11 months imprisonment for dealing in slaves, underage sexual exploitation and receiving earnings from commercial sexual services from an underage person.
She had been keeping her teenager daughter as a sex slave and selling her to men for sexual services an estimated 1000 times over an 18-month period.
Lata first sold her daughter, who has permanent name suppression, on her 15th birthday.
The court heard during the sentencing hearing that the teen fears deportation back to Fiji after she, her brothers and Lata came to New Zealand in 2014. After their visitor visas expired they were living as illegals.
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) assistant general manager Peter Devoy told the Herald in a statement today that while he couldn't comment specifically on the case, victims of such offending would be supported by INZ and other agencies.
"Trafficking is a serious criminal offence that encompasses a wide range of exploitative practices," he said.
"Migrants who have been deceived or coerced to work in the sex industry would be supported by INZ and other agencies while the matter was investigated."
Lata meanwhile faces deportation at the conclusion of her sentence.
"In terms of deportation for criminal activity, people are case managed according to their circumstances," Devoy said.
"INZ works with the police and other agencies to ensure the integrity of New Zealand's immigration system is maintained."
The horrific details of the case have shocked the country as it learns of New Zealand's third ever conviction for slave trading and the first prosecution under a specific subsection of the Crimes Act.
"I always wanted my mum to be a normal person ... I wonder what I did to deserve my mum. All I wanted was your love as a child, teenager, and your girl," the teen wrote in her victim impact statement.
"I have to make up lies about four years of my life and why I live on my own without my parents' support," she said.
Lata's defence counsel, Karl Trotter, told the court: "Ms Lata has come to the realisation that she may well be the most despised woman in New Zealand. That will be her burden."
Avneensh Sehgal, Lata's partner and co-offender, was also arrested the night before Lata's sentencing.
He was stopped at Auckland International Airport trying to board a plane to India and was carrying a large bag and cash. He told border security and police he was travelling to Delhi to tend to his ill father, sources said.
Sehgal helped Lata facilitate as many as five "appointments" a day with men wanting to have sex with the teen by driving her to motels.
He had initially pleaded not guilty and was due to go trial on Monday morning but just minutes after Lata was sentenced Sehgal pleaded guilty to dealing in underage people for sexual exploitation and receiving earnings from underage sexual exploitation.
He was remanded in custody and will be sentenced next month.