30 Apr 2018

Lawyer convicted of fraud in human trafficking case

4:13 pm on 30 April 2018

A lawyer who helped a human trafficker exploit Fijian workers by providing false information to Immigration New Zealand has been found guilty of fraud.

Passport stamp visa for travel concept background, New Zealand.

Photo: 123RF

In 2014, Mohammed Idris Hanif provided legal services to Faroz Ali, who was found guilty of human trafficking in 2016 - the first conviction of its kind in New Zealand.

Hanif gave false and misleading visitor visa applications on behalf of the Fijian workers, so that the workers Ali had trafficked into New Zealand could continue working in his gib-fixing business.

Hanif provided applications on five separate occasions that stated the Fijian workers were genuine tourists, who were in New Zealand to sight-see and visit friends and family, which was false.

He admitted providing the applications but denied knowing it was so Ali could continue employing the victims.

"The sole intention of Mohammed Hanif's involvement in the visa applications was to commit fraud," Immigration New Zealand spokesperson Peter Devoy said.

"We will not tolerate people committing immigration fraud and today's outcome reflects this."

All the Fijian nationals have now returned home.

Hanif will be sentenced at Manukau District Court in August.

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