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DPP v Kit [2021] VCC 421

The offender was sentenced following pleas of guilty to 3 counts of recklessly allowing an unlawful non-citizen to work contrary to section 245AB(1) of the Migration Act 1958, 1 count of recklessly allowing a lawful non-citizen to work in breach of a work-related condition contrary to section 245AC(1) of the Migration Act 1958 and 1 count of dealing with proceeds of crime worth $100,000 or more contrary to section 400.4(2) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code.

Nature and Circumstances: Principal object of illegal scheme was to obtain workers to enable the vegetables to be picked and packed for market. This does not suggest that offending was not serious. Offender did not know precise number of people they allowed to work. Offender was aware they were participating in an arrangement for performance of work by a substantial number of workers whilst reckless as to their entitlement to work. Offender was aware of a substantial risk that the workers who were allowed to work were doing so illegally and unjustifiably took the risk in the circumstances known to them. Offender’s role in the proceeds of crime charge was also significant. The proceeds were paid to the offender, who calculated the payment to each worker and caused the distribution. The proceeds of over $300,000 were substantial, however the offending was not the most serious by quantum or state of mind. Offender was reckless as to the fact that the money received was proceeds of crime.

Delay: Four years passed between sentence and record of interview. Charges were filed two years after interview in December 2018. There was some delay for a committal for Migration Act offences. There was a delay in filing charges and a further delay brought about by COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and its effect on the work of the courts. Delay between charges being filed and committal cannot be taken into account as offender chose to cross-examine witnesses on Migration Act matters.

Offender fined $40,000 and sentenced to 14 months imprisonment, to be released after 5 months on a recognizance release order.
The CSD acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as First Australians and recognises their culture, history, diversity and their deep connection to the land. We acknowledge that we are on the land of the traditional owners and pay respects to Elders past and present.

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