Immigration fraud sentences send clear message
23 July 2010
The jailing of three men by the Napier District Court today for illegally using foreign workers sends a clear message that offending like this will not be tolerated, says Immigration New Zealand.
The men are among a total of 18 people who have been, or are being, prosecuted as a result of Immigration investigations in Hawke’s Bay and Nelson/Marlborough in the past three years into the illegal employment of foreign workers.
In today’s sentencing, Michael Wauchop Porter, 53; Miles Elliott, 45; and Dharminder "Bubbly" Singh, 42, were each jailed for three years. The latter’s father, Surjit "Uncle" Singh, 62 was sentenced to nine months’ home detention.
They had each earlier admitted one representative charge of conspiring for material benefit to aid and abet foreign nationals to stay and work in New Zealand unlawfully.
Department of Labour Group Manager, Border Security, Glenys Robinson. says the defendants’ contracting company, Contract Labour Services (CLS), had used for commercial gain separate payment methods when paying legal and illegal workers. This included creating fake invoices for work carried out by illegal workers.
“CLS employed up to 500 people nationwide,” Ms Robinson says. “This conviction is a lesson to everyone involved in the horticultural/viticultural sector that Immigration New Zealand will investigate and prosecute activities that undermine the integrity of the immigration system.
“We’ve conducted investigations into 28 contractors or employers in this sector in the past three years, with 18 of those people being prosecuted. Stamping out this sort of offending is in the best interests primarily of the New Zealand workforce, who have first right to these jobs, and, secondly, our Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme, which was developed specifically to ensure we have enough legal workers to meet seasonal requirements.”