Melbourne: Two Indian-origin men will be among three who will be tried tomorrow in a New Zealand court on charges of human trafficking, becoming the first in the country to be charged with people-trafficking.
Satnam Singh, Jaswinder Singh Sangha and a third man with name suppression will be tried in the High Court at Nelson tomorrow, the New Zealand Herald reported.
After their arrest in August last year, the three men were the first people here to be charged with people-trafficking.
The trial before Justice Robert Dobson and a jury will commence after jury selection and pre-trial formalities happened on Friday at the Bridge St courthouse.
It’s expected to be a long trial, with extensive language translation requirements and dozens of witnesses.
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) alleged the trio were involved in trafficking 18 Indians to work in horticulture.
Singh and Sangha wera arrested in the Motueka area, an important agricultural region north of Nelson. The third man was arrested in Auckland the same day.
They faced charges under the Crimes Act of arranging the entry of people into New Zealand by coercion or deception.
Sangha was also charged under the Immigration Act with providing false information.He and the third man also faced charges of knowingly producing a false or misleading document to an immigration, visa, or refugee status officer.
In September, all three men pleaded not guilty in Nelson District Court. They were bailed but ordered to surrender their passports.
The most serious charges, of arranging the entry of people by deception, carried a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in jail, a fine of USD 500,000, or both.
Last year, the High Court at Wellington heard the trial would involve witnesses flying from India to give evidence.
At the time of the arrest, INZ alleged the 18 Indian men were brought to New Zealand to work in the horticulture industry in 2008-09.
The trafficking charges were the first to be laid in New Zealand, INZ’s Peter Devoy said at the time.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
Sign me up for the newsletter!
Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.
Flipkart partners with Bajaj Allianz to offer digital, hassle-free motor insurance
A non-profit empowers marginalized communities in rural India to tackle COVID-19 with virtual training
HP addresses the printing needs of SMBs, ‘Work From Home’ professionals
Nissan unveils transformation plan to prioritize sustainable growth and profitability
Empowering Asia’s health care sector in the battle against COVID-19
2014 The Global Indian New Network (TGINN)