28 Oct 2018

Czech drug smuggler gains residence in NZ

3:02 pm on 28 October 2018

A convicted drug smuggler who was facing deportation has been granted residence in New Zealand.

Ecstasy tablets on black background

Jan Antolik from the Czech Republic was jailed for five years and nine months for importing ecstasy, but has now gained residence in New Zealand. Photo: 123rf

The man, who came to New Zealand from the Czech Republic, and goes by the name Jan Antolik, was jailed for five years and nine months for importing 4.9kg of the drug MDMA, known as ecstasy.

The 37-year-old was convicted for importing nearly five kilograms of MDMA, with a street value of $375,000, and was denied parole last month.

He has a criminal history in the Czech Republic as well, after a man was shot and killed.

But it seems he has escaped deportation after his prison sentence ends, because of a decision by Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway.

In a statement, Mr Lees-Galloway said he had decided to grant Jan Antolik New Zealand residency - subject to significant conditions.

"The decision to grant residence was made after careful consideration of all the information available at the time," he said.

"For privacy and legal reasons, I am unable to disclose this information or comment on specific details of the case.

"It's not a decision I've taken lightly."

Antolik was denied parole last month and will be assessed again in a year.

National's Justice spokesperson, Mark Mitchell, said the Government must reveal why it granted residence to a convicted drug smuggler who had been facing deportation.

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