Samoan man arrested, accused of human trafficking and slavery

A Samoan man has been arrested in New Zealand for human trafficking and slavery.

The 64-year-old man has yet to be identified but Radio New Zealand reports that his arrest follows a two-year investigation by Immigration New Zealand (INZ) and the police.

The man is accused of allegedly taking Samoan nationals to New Zealand to work for him illegally.

Radio New Zealand reports that the man has been regularly taking Samoan nationals to work for him in the horticultural industry in the Hawke's Bay since the 1990s.

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Victims say the man closely controlled and monitored their movements, including where they went and who they contacted.

The Samoan man, who is a New Zealand resident, is believed to have promised people well-paid jobs.

"Information collected during the joint investigation suggests that the man, who was seen as a respected member of his community in Samoa, targeted vulnerable people, who had limited education and literacy," Detective Inspector Mike Foster of Eastern District Police said.

"[The arrest] reflects how seriously both of our agencies take these types of allegations, and our commitment to combating Transnational Organised Crimes, including people trafficking," INZ assistant general manager Peter Devoy said.

He said the Samoan authorities provided valuable assistance during the investigation.

Attempts are being made to obtain a comment from the Samoan government.

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