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Defendants pay a high price for immigration fraud Friday, 29 January 2016

Two men have been sentenced today at the High Court in Nelson for their role in organising false refugee claims.

Jaswinder Singh Sangha and Kulwant Singh were sentenced 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.

Kulwant Singh was sentenced to 25 months imprisonment.

Jaswinder Singh was sentenced to 10 months home detention and 300 hours of community service.

The landmark case was New Zealand’s first ever human trafficking trial, Jaswinder Singh Sangha and a third man on trial- Satnam Singh were found not guilty of 10 charges under the Crimes Act 1961 of arranging the entry of people into New Zealand by coercion or deception. Both Jaswinder Singh Sangha and Kulwant Singh were found guilty of the remaining 11 counts of supplying false statements to a refugee officer.

Speaking about the sentencing Immigration New Zealand’s (INZ) Manager of Serious Offences Unit, Cam Moore says, “Today’s sentencing shows that we have done our job, 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 2016 involving 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.