On Monday, a Samoan chief named Joseph Auga Matamata was sentenced to 11 years in jail for 10 counts of human trafficking and 13 counts of dealing in slaves — the first case in New Zealand where a person has been convicted of both human trafficking and slavery at the same time.
He was also ordered to pay 183,000 New Zealand dollars ($122,000) in reparations to his 13 victims to partly compensate them for the estimated 300,000 New Zealand dollars ($200,000) his family gained from his criminal acts. Matamata has maintained his innocence.
But while Matamata’s sentence brings to a close more than two decades of offending, experts say that his case is just the tip of the iceberg.
They say that although human trafficking and slavery convictions are rare in New Zealand, cases are more widespread than those convictions suggest. And they warn that more people could become vulnerable to trafficking in the post-pandemic world.
This article has been summarised, the original full article can be found at cnn.com