New Zealand Law Society - Home detention for former lawyer in immigration case

Home detention for former lawyer in immigration case

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Immigration New Zealand says former lawyer Mohammed Idris Hanif has been sentenced to 10 months' home detention on five charges of providing false or misleading information to Immigration New Zealand in respect of visitor visa applications.

The visa applications were sought to enable three of the victims of convicted human trafficker Faroz Ali to remain in New Zealand and continue to work and be exploited by Ali.

Mr Hanif was described as a barrister when convicted of the charges in the Manukau District Court in May 2018. However, he no longer appears on the Register of Lawyers.

Immigration New Zealand says while acting as counsel for the three victims, Mr Hanif completed and sent visitor visa applications to Immigration New Zealand knowing that they contained false or misleading information.

"Hanif completed applications stating that the reason the victims wanted to stay longer in New Zealand as visitors was to undertake recreational activities. The true reason they wanted to stay was to continue to work for Ali in the hope their lifetime opportunity would be realised."

The three human trafficking victims had answered advertisements Ali’s associates had placed in Fijian newspapers to work in New Zealand.

They were charged large sums of money for the opportunity to come to and work in New Zealand. When they arrived they were forced to work illegally for long hours gib fixing. The scam included Ali housing them in degrading cramped conditions and paying them little, if anything.

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