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Barrister linked to New Zealand’s first human trafficking convictions found guilty of fraud Monday, April 30 2018

A Barrister was today convicted for his role of knowingly providing false and misleading information to Immigration New Zealand (INZ).

During 2014, Mohammed Idris Hanif was providing legal services to Faroz Ali who was found guilty of human trafficking in 2016- the first conviction for the crime in New Zealand’s history.

The fraudulent information Hanif provided enabled the Fijian workers Ali had trafficked into NZ to remain here so that they could be further exploited by Ali as a labour source in his gib fixing business.

Hanif provided false and misleading information to INZ on the visitor visa applications submitted on behalf of the Fijian victims. Evidence presented in the four day trial held at the Manukau District Court proved Hanif knew that the actual reason for the Fijian victims to remain in NZ was to work for Ali. 

On five separate occasions, visa applications were submitted by Hanif that included false and misleading information, stating that the Fijian workers were genuine tourists and wished to stay longer in New Zealand as tourists to sightsee and visit family and friends. In reality, Hanif fraudulently assisted the Fijian victims to apply for visitor visas so they could remain working for Faroz Ali’s business.

When questioned by immigration investigators, Hanif admitted assisting with the visa applications, but denied knowing that it was so they could stay in NZ and continue working for Faroz Ali.

Hanif is to be sentenced at the Manukau District Court on 3 August 2018.

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) Assistant General Manager Peter Devoy said, “The sole intention of Mohammed Hanif’s involvement in the visa applications was to commit fraud. We will not tolerate people committing immigration fraud and today’s outcome reflects this.”

All the Fijian nationals have now returned home.

For legal reasons INZ is prevented from making any further comment on this.

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