New Zealand Law Society - Barrister linked to New Zealand's first human trafficking case

Barrister linked to New Zealand's first human trafficking case

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A barrister has been convicted in Manukau District Court for his role of knowingly providing false and misleading information to Immigration New Zealand.

Immigration New Zealand says that 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.

It says the fraudulent information Mr 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.

Immigration New Zealand says Mr Hanif provided false and misleading information to it on the visitor visa applications he submitted on behalf of the Fijian victims. It says evidence presented at the trial proved Mr Hanif inow that the actual reason for the Fijian victims to remain in New Zealand was to work for Mr 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."

Mr Hanif will be sentenced at the Manukau District Court on 3 August 2018.