From: Teddy Halim Mailed-By: gmail.com
Date: May 4, 2006 3:39 AM
Subject: Fwd: People smuggling to NZ by Indonesian man (Dominion Post)
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Man admits smuggling immigrants
WEDNESDAY, 03 MAY 2006
By BRUCE CUTLER
An Indonesian man has become the first person to be convicted in New Zealand under tough legislation against people-smuggling.
Deny Setiadi, 27, pleaded guilty yesterday in the High Court at Napier to four charges that he aided and abetted illegal Indonesian immigrants to enter New Zealand for material benefit.
The maximum penalty for the offending is 20 years in jail and/or a $500,000 fine.
Setiadi also admitted four charges of aiding and abetting other persons to enter New Zealand unlawfully.
He had denied the eight charges at a court appearance last month, despite admitting seven other charges of helping Indonesian men to remain in New Zealand after they arrived at Auckland International Airport using passports with false photos.
Yesterday Setiadi could hardly be heard as he acknowledged the charges with a nod and mouthed the word "guilty".
Immigration Service fraud investigator John Marston described Setiadi's convictions as ground-breaking territory.
The people-smuggling ring was uncovered in April last year as a result of information received from Indonesian authorities.
"The people who came into New Zealand were paying the organisers in Indonesia in the vicinity of $8000 (each)," Mr Marston said. "That's their life savings for these people, who were mostly ordinary village people."
Mr Marston said more than 10 illegal immigrants had been prosecuted and returned to Indonesia after being found in Hawke's Bay last August. Most were aged in their mid-20s to 30s and were located at a house in Napier.
Setiadi was the contact when they arrived at Auckland airport. He would drive them to Hawke's Bay – where he was also living illegally in Taradale.
The court was told Setiadi was the first person to be convicted under tough people-smuggling laws arising from amendments passed by Parliament in 2002.
Defence lawyer Scott Manning said he did not think an Indonesian interpreter would be needed for Setiadi's sentencing because he thought his client understood the nature of the charges.
Justice Marion Frater said because the charges had not previously come up for sentencing, both lawyers would be required to file pre-sentence submissions early. She considered it appropriate for an Indonesian interpreter to be available to ensure that Setiadi understood the sentence imposed.
Setiadi was remanded in custody to appear for sentence on June 1.