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Zeng v The King [2023] WASCA 25

The offender was sentenced following conviction for 10 counts of receiving a fee for giving immigration assistance when not being a registered migration agent contrary to s 281(1) of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth), 1 count of having possession of foreign travel documents knowing that the passports were not issued to them contrary to s 21(4) of the Foreign Passports (Law Enforcement and Security) Act 2005 (Cth), and 1 count of dealing with money or property that was, and that was believed to be, proceeds of crime with a value of $10,000 or more contrary to s 400.6(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth). Original sentenced imposed 6 years and 6 months imprisonment with a non-parole period of 4 years and 6 months. Offender appealed on the ground that the total effective sentence violated the totality principle.

Totality: The absence of comparable cases does not preclude the conclusion that a total effective sentence infringes the totality principle, it simply means that the ground is to be decided having regard to all of the facts, circumstances and applicable sentencing principles. The offending, considered as a whole, was clearly serious in nature. It had aggravating features and involved a persistent course of planned dishonest conduct by the offender over a lengthy period. Both the rewards obtained by the offender and the deleterious impact on those who sought to engage their services were significant. While recognising the serious nature of the offending, a sentence of 6 years 6 months’ imprisonment is disproportionate to the overall criminality involved in all the offences, viewed in their entirety and having regard to the circumstances of the case.

Leave to appeal granted. Appeal allowed. Offender resentenced to 4 years and 9 months imprisonment with a non-parole period of 3 years and 2 months.
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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