Migrant exploitation exposure swells under Immigration probe

migrant exploitation

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) officials are further exposing New Zealand’s migrant exploitation shame.

House by house by house across Auckland they are exposing places scammers are holding their victims.

Investigations to date

INZ officials investigating Indian and Bangladeshi migrant exploitation had already found 115 workers living in appalling conditions. They all had accredited employer work visas (AEWV).

Just three weeks after finding the 115, INZ say investigators have identified another 29 victims.

That’s a tally of 144 migrants. All were were living in crammed and unsanitary conditions, squeezed into 10 houses across Auckland.

The investigators say the places were unsuitable for accommodating such large numbers.

Visas paid, work promised

Many of the victims found by INZ had paid thousands of dollars for accredited employer work visas.

Some say they have had no pay or income since arriving here.

They have found little or no work available, despite being promised jobs with a handful of employers.

Those employers are now being investigated about the mistreatment claims.

INZ says it is working with the Indian High Commission in New Zealand and the Bangladeshi High Commission in Australia about the investigation.

Continuing investigations

INZ is now speaking to all the migrants and expects this will take some time. It says it’s encouraging migrants to attend MSD’s Jobs and Skills hubs.

So far, it has completed its review of 190 people still overseas who were issued the visas and are linked to the companies under investigation.

Of the 190 overseas visa holders, INZ reports that 135 have had their visas cancelled.

It also reports some of the remaining people have applied for a new visa. In some cases, visas have expired, INZ says. In addition, a few were cancelled at the border.

Tracing the vile swell

Besides the ongoing Indian and Bangladeshi investigation, INZ is currently investigating hundreds of migrant exploitation allegations against dozens of accredited employers. At present, 154 are being investigated for criminal offending.

In addition, INZ says 52 employers are being assessed to have their accreditation revoked. By mid-last month, six had already been revoked and five suspended.

INZ says it is also investigating 151 complaints about migrants working in breach of visa conditions.

Employment New Zealand is examining another 406 which relate to breaches of employment law and migrant exploitation.

Help offered

Various agencies have come forward to help the victims. They include Victim Support, the Ministry of Social Development, the Police and community representatives.


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News category: New Zealand.

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