4 Apr 2019

Immigration New Zealand let Karel Sroubek in after overstaying

12:48 pm on 4 April 2019

The convicted drug smuggler Karel Sroubek was earmarked for deportation less than a year after he arrived in the country.

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Karel Sroubek is in jail and faces deportation after being convicted of importing almost 5kg of ecstasy. Photo: Carmen Bird Photography

But the removal action was dropped when it appeared he had left the country.

Official Information Act documents reveal that the first time Sroubek entered the country as a resident, two men using the same passport he falsely passed off as his own landed in New Zealand on the same flight.

A person named in his trial as helping to arrange the importation of drugs from the Czech Republic has also been allowed into New Zealand at least twice since his arrest.

Sroubek is in jail and faces deportation after being convicted of importing almost 5kg of ecstasy. He is appealing his deportation after the immigration minister reversed his earlier decision to grant him residence.

But it has emerged that Sroubek was referred to Immigration New Zealand's Border and Investigations for removal action in autumn 2004.

Sroubek arrived on a three-month visitor visa in September 2003, using a copy of his friend Jan Antolik's passport. Another arrival was recorded using Antolik's passport in November that year, despite Sroubek not leaving the country.

He had overstayed but by the time he was listed for removal action, one of the two men using the Antolik passport had left the country - and the discrepancy of travel movements had not been picked up - so the action was halted.

"Karel Sroubek/Jan Antolik's information was referred to Compliance for removal action in April 2004 as he was showing as being in New Zealand unlawfully," Immigration's border manager Stephanie Greathead said. "However, INZ can confirm that no removal action was initiated against Karel Sroubek in 2004 or 2005."

If he had been deported, he would have been excluded from coming back to New Zealand.

There was, however, an overstayer alert on his file and he was taken aside for immigration questioning when he tried to board a plane bound for New Zealand in January 2005.

He was given another three month visitor visa, despite his previous non-compliance.

"At this time, a border officer noted that Sroubek/Antolik did not realise that he needed to obtain an extension to his permit to remain in New Zealand longer and a decision was made to grant a further visitor permit and entry permission, allowing a further stay for up to three months," Ms Greathead said.

Four months later he submitted a work to residence visa, ultimately getting residence in 2008 - a year before Czech police made contact about his outstanding 54-month jail sentence for assaulting two police officers and a taxi driver, and a warrant for his arrest for assault in a murder case.

In 2008, two men from the same flight presented Jan Antolik passports at the airport.

Immigration New Zealand said it was not uncommon for more than one individual with the same name to be entering New Zealand on the same day.

"As such, there is nothing in the Advance Passenger Processing system to trigger an alert if two passports with the same name are used," Ms Greathead said. "This would simply be treated as two separate passenger entries."

Immigration also said it had made no character assessment on a person previously named by the Crown at Sroubek's trial as the person it believed arranged for him to receive the drugs cargo from Prague.

That person, whose name was suppressed by the court, has been to New Zealand at least twice since his arrest.

Timeline of Sroubek aka Antolik

  • June and October 1999: Attacks against police officers and taxi driver, for which he was convicted and sentenced
  • to 54 months prison (apparently he never served this sentence)

  • 7 September 2003: Murder of Vladimir Domacka
  • 16 September 2003 and 29 November 2003: Arrives visa free on Antolik passport; granted 3 month visitor's permit at border
  • (No recorded departure date between these two arrivals)

  • 8 March and 13 July 2004: Departs on Antolik passport. (No recorded departure date between these two departures)
  • 23 June 2005: Arrives visa free on Antolik passport; granted 3 month visitor's permit at border
  • 15 April 2005: Applies for work permit and visa under the Work to Residence, Talent - Sports Category
  • May 2005 to June 2008: Held work permits under Antolik identity; travels offshore eight times, usually for a few
  • days to a few weeks at a time.

  • 5 November 2007: Residence application under Residence from Work, Talent - Sports Category, under
  • Antolik identity

  • 6 June 2008: Residence approved
  • 23 June 2008: Departs
  • 16 August 2008: Arrives as resident
  • 30 April 2009 to 19 June 2009: Offshore
  • 6 to 24 September 2009: Offshore; has not departed NZ again since 24 September 2009
  • October 2009: Czech police contact NZ police to advise that Mr Sroubek was living in NZ under the Antolik identity. Interpol notice advises he is wanted in Czech Republic as he had a connection to the murder Mr Domacka in 2003. (Czech authorities in 2018 have confirmed he is not charged with murder.)
  • 16 November 2009: Arrested for offences against the Immigration Act 1987
  • 4 November 2011: Jury finds him guilty of immigration offences
  • January 2012: Resolutions receives referral, begins assessing case under s156 of the Immigration Act 2009.
  • February 2012: Discharge without conviction on immigration charges after completing 200 hours community service
  • April 2012: INZ advised of pending charges
  • 2012: Relationship begins with a New Zealand citizen
  • February 2013: Resolutions decides there is a prima facie case under s156 (false identity) and writes to Mr Sroubek advising him of that
  • March 2013: Response from Mr Sroubek's lawyer received. Lawyer notes pending charges
  • May 2013: Case placed on hold awaiting outcome of pending charges
  • 17 September 2014: Separate drug offending committed (importation of ecstasy)
  • 20 September 2014: Arrested on second lot of drugs charges (importation of ecstasy). Earlier lot of drugs charges did not result in conviction
  • 3 June 2016: Sentenced for importing ecstasy offending - 5 years and nine months' imprisonment. Conviction later appealed
  • 11 December 2017: Court of Appeal dismisses Mr Sroubek's appeal
  • January 2018: Period where Mr Sroubek can appeal to the Supreme Court expires. Resolutions re-activates deportation case
  • 29 March 2018: INZ writes to Mr Sroubek through his lawyer seeking to comment on deportation liability
  • 19 September 2018: Decision made by Minister to grant new resident visa with conditions imposed

Source: Immigration New Zealand

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