The director of a construction company, Hooi Keat Chai, was declared guilty of all six count charges laid against him – he was accused of giving immigration officers false information, as well as five other counts involving the presentation of fraudulent work visa – and, will be sentenced later this year.
The 35-year-old businessman, sole director of Team NZ Constructions, attempted using permanent suppression order to prevent public revelation of his crimes, some of which were as far back as a decade – 2009. The interim name suppression order he got in October last year – 2018 – following hearing in a District Court in Auckland is no longer valid after he lost a courtroom battle against Immigration New Zealand (INZ) hence the public revelation of his crimes.
Hooi Keat Chai’s construction company was one of ten companies INZ targeted in an operation tagged ‘Operation Spectrum.’ Operation Spectrum was one of the campaigns designed by INZ to interrupt illegal workers’ flow from Malaysia.
During the multiple raids conducted by INZ, 10 companies involved in smuggling workers into New Zealand by presenting false information were dismantled. The events led to the deportation of 54 people as well as 36 self-deportations. Eighty-five people were stopped at the country’s border and another 15 who had visas to live, but no work visas were given deportation liability notices. In total, above 190 people were stopped from working illegally in New Zealand by INZ over a six-month period.
Chai has benefited from the construction boom in Auckland over the last decade and lived a wealthy lifestyle – owns a recent model of Porsche and lives in the $2.3m home as revealed by his financial records.
The wealthy Malaysian who has New Zealand’s permanent residency will be sentenced come March.
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