One of three men found not guilty on people trafficking charges has now gone to prison on lesser charges of supplying false information to Immigration New Zealand officials.
Kulwant Singh was sentenced in the High Court in Nelson this morning to 25 months in prison for being the principal player in the scheme, that also saw Jaswinder Singh Sangha sentenced.
The two were among three men accused of people trafficking, but were found not guilty by a jury after a six-week trial in Nelson late last year.
Jaswinder Singh Sangha was this morning sentenced to 10 months home detention and 300 hours of community work for what Justice Robert Dobson said was his lesser role in supplying false statements to a refugee status officer.
Justice Dobson said Kulwant Singh "cooked up the initiative" and Jaswinder Singh Sangha was party to it.
He said it was a tragic departure from exemplary lives the pair had led in their communities.
Justice Dobson said Kulwant Singh was the principal player in the scheme.
"That involved creating histories of persecution by the police in the Punjab in a variety of circumstances, for each of the workers to justify claims of fears for their safety if they returned to the Punjab."