Man admits passport offences

DAVID CLARKSON
Last updated 13:00 31/01/2014

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A second Chinese man has admitted improperly dealing with passports, but three others arrested in the police swoop in July 2012 continue to deny the charges and are heading for trial in September.

Five people were originally charged with people smuggling, with allegations that they had arranged for unauthorised migrants to enter Australia.

Charges have been reduced since then, and one of the group received a home detention sentence in December after pleading guilty.

A second man, 38-year-old Redwood company director Yu Ren Lin, pleaded guilty to two charges at a pre-trial session before Judge Paul Kellar in the Christchurch District Court today.

He admitted charges of disposing of his passport between October 2006 and August 2007, and between February 2008 and January 2009, knowing that the other person involved would do something illegal with it, but not knowing the details.

The charges say the documents could have been "sold, hired, lent, or disposed of".

In the earlier case, Hao Tan, a 35-year-old retailer from Halswell, sold documents for between $3000 and $5000 in 2008 and sent them to an address in Hong Kong.

The transit visa and passport were used by an imposter to enter Australia and apply for asylum.

Yu Ren Lin's defence counsel Richard Maze today asked the judge to get a report on his client's suitability for home detention ahead of the sentencing, so that the judge could consider that option.

"His co-accused received a sentence of four-and-a-half months' home detention for very similar offending," he told Judge Kellar.

The judge asked for the report for the sentencing on May 15, and remanded Lin on bail.

Three other men charged with similar offences appeared before Judge Kellar at the same session and were remanded on bail for a one-week trial starting on September 22.

Mandarin Chinese interpreters are being arranged for the trial.

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- The Press

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