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Christchurch employer sentenced for employing illegal worker

Christchurch employer sentenced for employing an illegal worker
Tuesday, 13 June 2018

A Christchurch liquor store and its owner have been sentenced for employing an unlawful Indian migrant for three and a half years.

Satya Enterprises Ltd, which operates several liquor stores in Christchurch trading as Bottle-O and operated one store under the Thirsty Liquor brand up until 2014, was fined $3,000 after being convicted at the Christchurch District Court this morning of a charge under the Immigration Act for allowing the person to work illegally.

The director of Satya Enterprises, Inderjit Singh, was also fined $3,000 after pleading guilty to aiding and abetting his company to commit the offence.

The defendants had sought a discharge without conviction, but the Judge, Stephen O’Driscoll, said such a step would not protect migrants or deter employers from using inappropriate workers.

“The defendant’s actions have undermined the foundation and integrity of New Zealand’s immigration system,” Judge O’Driscoll wrote in his reserved judgement. “I do regard this offending as serious.”

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) Assistant General Manager Peter Devoy says New Zealand businesses have a legal responsibility to ensure that their employees are legally entitled to work for them.

“Singh had a history with Immigration New Zealand of sponsoring other migrant workers for visas. He was well aware of his obligations as an employer, yet had this person working for him illegally for a prolonged period of time. We hope this sentence sends a strong signal that we will take action against employers who are implicated in such behaviour.”

The worker has subsequently left New Zealand.

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