Case Law Database

Smuggling of migrants


• Enabling illegal entry
• Procuring, providing or possessing a fraudulent travel or identity document in connection with migrant smuggling

R v Wang (2012) NZHC 1087 (18 May 2012)

Fact Summary

In this case, a Chinese national was apprehended at Christchurch airport on 31 July 2011 when he presented a forged Taiwanese passport (with which he would obtain visa-free entry in New Zealand). The man had arrived on a commercial flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and was accompanied by another man who was later accused of being the smuggler. The Chinese man was later convicted in relation to passport offences, while charges against the other man were dropped for evidentiary reasons.

The smuggled migrant, Mr Hong Liu, together with the Mr Chung Chen Wang arrived in Christchurch on a commercial flight from Kuala Lumpur on 31 July 2011 at 11:00 pm. Mr Hong Liu produced a forged Taiwanese passport to immigration authorities on arrival. It was alleged that Mr Chung Chen Wang organised the unauthorised entry (presumably the false passport) for the smuggled migrant.

The smuggled migrants reportedly borrowed NZD 26,000 to loan-sharks in China to pay for the false passport. It is not known whether this was handed to the alleged smuggler or not.

Commentary and Significant Features

After much of the evidence against him was ruled inadmissible, the case against Mr Wang was dropped and he returned home to Taiwan. He had however, spent nine months in custody.

Cross-Cutting Issues


... for

• completed offence

... as involves

• principal offender(s)



• occurred across one (or more) international borders (transnationally)

Involved Countries


New Zealand

Procedural Information

Legal System:
Common Law
Proceeding #1:
  • Stage:
  • Official Case Reference:
    R v Wang [2012] NZHC 1087 (18 May 2012)
  • Court

    Court Title

    High Court of New Zealand



  • City/Town:
  • • Criminal


    During the committal hearing the defence contested a number of pieces of evidence relating to the smuggling migrants charge against Mr Wang. Chisholm J ruled that propensity evidence demonstrating Mr Wang's prior offending was prejudicial and therefore, inadmissible. Furthermore, the initial interview of the accused, carried out by a New Zealand customs official was deemed inadmissible. As a result, the prosecution dropped the charges against Mr Wang.



    1 adult man
    The smuggled migrant, Mr Liu, was sentenced to 18 months jail for producing a false passport. However, this was reduced on appeal. After serving his sentence Mr Liu was deported to China.

    Defendants / Respondents in the first instance

    Number of other accused:
    Chung Chen Wang

    Mr Chung Chen Wang (from Taiwan) initially appeared before the Christchurch District Court on 23 August 2011 when he was remanded in custody. Charges relating to migrant smuggling against him were later dropped after key evidence was deemed inadmissible by the High Court of New Zealand.

    Hong Liu

    Charges / Claims / Decisions

    Chung Chen Wang
    Crimes Act 1961 (NZ)section 98C - Smuggling migrants
    Charge details:

    It was alleged that Mr Chung Chen Wang was had organised the unauthorised arrival of Mr Hong Liu on 31 July 2011 by furnishing him with a forged Taiwanese passport, which would have enabled Mr Hong Liu to enter New Zealand without a visa.

    The prosecution alleged that Mr Chung Chen Wang had previously been involved in facilitating illegal entry in New Zealand as well as Australia and Canada by using forged documents. The evidence relating to these claims was, however, later ruled to be inadmissible.

    Hong Liu
    Charge details:

    It was alleged that Mr Hong Liu's unauthorised arrival into New Zealand, i.e. the use of a false passport, was organised by Mr Chung Chen Wang. Mr. Liu was charged with passport fraud.

    Mr Hong Liu reportedly borrowed NZD 26,000 from loan-sharks in China to pay for the false passport. It is not know whether this was handed to Mr Chung Chen Wang or not.


    High Court of New Zealand

    Sources / Citations

    R v Wang [2012] NZHC 1087 (18 May 2012)

    This entry was copied from The Migrant Smuggling Case Database, launched by the University of Queensland Migrant Smuggling Working Group in August 2013.