Indian-origin men plead not guilty in human trafficking trial

Wellington, Nov 9 (IANS) Three man including two of Indian-origin who face human trafficking charges in New Zealand have pleaded not guilty, a media report said on Monday.

Satnam Singh, Jaswinder Singh Sangha and a third man with his name not disclosed — the first people in New Zealand to be charged with human trafficking — pleaded not guilty to all the charges against them during their trial at the high court in Nelson on Monday, news website reported.

During their arrest in August last year, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) alleged that the three were involved in the trafficking of 18 Indians to work in the horticulture industry in 2008-09.

Singh and Sangha were arrested from Motueka town in New Zealand, an important agricultural region north of Nelson, while the third man was arrested from Auckland.

Both of them were charged with arranging the illegal entry of people into New Zealand.

Sangha and the third man also face charges of knowingly producing a false or misleading document before an immigration, visa, or refugee status officer.

In September, all the three men had pleaded not guilty in the Nelson district court.

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