Mohammed Atiqul ISLAM 22/10/2020
Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002
Mohammed Atiqul ISLAM
Hearing: 22 October 2020
at Auckland South Corrections Facility
Members of the Board: Judge J Lovell Smith – Panel Convenor, Mr P Elenio, Ms M Kleist
In Attendance: (withheld) – Case Manager
Support Persons: (withheld)
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Mohammed Islam appears before the Board for consideration of parole in respect of a sentence of four years five months imposed for exploitation of persons not legally entitled to work, aiding and abetting provision of false or misleading information and perverting the course of justice. Mr Islam’s sentence commencement date was 10 May 2019 with the parole eligibility dated 29 October 2020 and a statutory release date, sentence end date of 9 October 2023.
- The sentencing Judge noted that Mr Islam's company was trading as a restaurant or cafe together with a stand in an Asian food court, the primary business being the selling of Bengali sweets that were made by two of Mr Islam's employees who had he had brought in from Bangladesh. Mr Islam was found guilty at trial for the exploitation of workers, in particular paying $6 an hour for workers at his cafe, not paying for the hours are actually worked, not paying holiday pay or there were deliberate miscalculations of holiday pay. Mr Islam also encouraged some of the workers on temporary visas to breach the terms of their visas by working more hours than they were legally entitled to do so.
- Mr Islam had confiscated two passports immediately after the chefs arrived in New Zealand and held them for virtually the whole of the period of their employment until the workers resorted to involving the police. The Judge noted that these men and other workers suffered “grievously" as a result of Mr Islam's activities. At the time of sentencing the Judge noted that Mr Islam did not take any responsibility for his offending neither did he express any remorse. The pre-sentence report noted that Mr Islam‘s risk of psychological harm to others, particularly employees, was high.
- Mr Islam’s security classification is minimum and there are no issues with his conduct in prison. As a first offender, his RoC*RoI .21006 means he is not eligible for any rehabilitative programmes in prison. He is however scheduled to receive assistance with a safety plan which involves 8 sessions altogether. The safety plan programme is not scheduled for this year.
- Mrs Islam has excellent family support. He is well educated and has lived in New Zealand for 18 years. He wishes to be released so he can be with his 12-year-old son. He told the Board that he was very sorry for the whole situation but he also described the punishment as being very severe given he was removed from his family.
- The Board found Mr Islam’s expressions of remorse to be unconvincing. His current safety plan does not address the issues of his potential risk of reoffending. The Judge described his offending as shameless exploitation of the employees. His actions were clearly further personal gain and his victims were very vulnerable.
- Without assistance with planning an appropriate safety plan, Mr Islam’s risk remains undue. Parole is declined. The Board would support Mr Islam moving to self-cares and some sort of employment including Release to Work. For the next Board, the Board's expectation is that he will be able to provide a full and appropriate safety plan. Mr Islam will be seen again in June 2021 and no later than the end of that month.
Judge J Lovell Smith