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Man sentenced for involvement in Brazilian migrant sex scheme

A man has been sentenced in the Auckland District Court today after pleading guilty to charges of aiding and abetting international sex workers operating illegally in New Zealand.

9 February 2024
2 minute read

Michael James Sloan was charged in 2019. This was the result of an Immigration New Zealand (INZ) investigation into anonymous tip-offs claiming Mr Sloan and another were facilitating female Brazilian nationals to work as prostitutes in the sex industry while on temporary entry class visas.

Sloan and his co-defendant pleaded guilty to a representative charge of aiding and abetting individuals to breach conditions of their visas. Judge Bergseng sentenced Sloan to 10 months home detention. His co-defendant will be sentenced on 12 April 2024.

The 2 individuals acted as booking agents for 15 Brazilian women and arranged advertising, handled customer communication and bookings for sex workers on temporary entry class visas. Their business was mainly conducted out of motels in locations across the central North Island.

James Friend, MBIE National Manager Immigration Investigations, said the result today is the cumulation of several years’ work by immigration officials and hopes the sentence acts as a deterrent for people looking to make money off migrants.

“While there was no indication of worker exploitation in this case, the fact remains that visa conditions were breached. The women came to New Zealand on temporary entry class visas which are predominately used for short stays such as family visits, tourism, specific work or short study stints. Instead, the 2 individuals facilitated the women to breach their visa conditions and work illegally while they were here.”

“It is a condition of every temporary entry class visa that the visa holder may not provide commercial sexual services whilst in New Zealand. These conditions are important because migrants who come to New Zealand on temporary entry class visas and do work in the commercial sex industry are vulnerable to exploitation either from their employers or customers, and they are highly unlikely to make a complaint to the authorities.” said James Friend.

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Note to editors: Enforcement options for Immigration New Zealand include informing and education, warnings, and prosecution. A prosecution will be considered where there is sufficient evidence and it is considered to be in the public interest to prosecute.