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human trafficking

Napier, NEW ZEALAND — A Hastings-based Samoan chief has been found guilty of 10 charges in human trafficking and 13 charges in dealing in slaves. Joseph Auga Matamata, 65, was acquitted on one charge of trafficking. The jury of five men and six women took seven-and-a-half hours to reach the verdict...
Joseph Auga Matamata pictured in front of his house.
Napier, NEW ZEALAND — The jury in the trial of a Samoan chief accused of slavery has retired to consider their verdict. Joseph Auga Matamata, 65, denies 11 charges of human trafficking and 13 charges of slavery relating to 13 Samoan nationals between 1995 and April last year. Summing up the case...
Joseph Auga Matamata,
Napier, NEW ZEALAND — The jury in the trial of a Samoan chief accused of slavery has been urged to consider whether he treated 13 Samoans as his property. Hastings resident Joseph Auga Matamata, 65, denies 24 charges of human trafficking and slavery between 1994 and 2019. Some of the complainants...
Matamata's Hastings home
Napier, NEW ZEALAND — A Samoan chief on trial for slavery says he paid for five of the complainants to come to New Zealand to perform at his mother's birthday party, but they ran away and became overstayers. Hastings resident Joseph Auga Matamata, 65, denies 11 charges of trafficking and 13 charges...
Joseph Auga Matamata.
Napier, NEW ZEALAND — A Samoan man the Crown says was trafficked to New Zealand and used as a slave says he was put to work within hours getting off the plane and was constantly beaten for working too slowly. He is one of 13 complainants to give evidence at the trial of Joseph Auga Matamata, 65, at...
Samoan national Joseph Matamata
Napier, NEW ZEALAND — New Zealand's first court trial involving slavery and human trafficking charges has ended its first week in the High Court in Napier and will resume today (New Zealand time). The trial before Justice Helen Cull and a jury started on Monday last week with horticultural and...
Samoan national Joseph Matamata,
Napier, NEW ZEALAND — A teenage Samoan girl promised schooling in New Zealand was instead allegedly made to cook and clean and got beatings, the High Court in Napier has heard. The woman, who was a 15-year-old at the time of the alleged offending in 1994-95, is one of several complainants who will...
New Zealand flag
Wellington, NEW ZEALAND — Sixteen Pacific Islanders have been granted temporary work visas in New Zealand under a Special Residence Category for victims of human trafficking. Immigration New Zealand said the 16 people from Fiji and Samoa were approved for their visas between July 2016 and July 2019...
Viliamu Samu, also known as Joe Matamata
Hawkes Bay, NEW ZEALAND — The identity of a man accused of slavery and trafficking in Hawke's Bay can now be revealed. Samoan national Viliamu Samu, known locally as Joe Matamata, has been charged with human trafficking and slavery after he allegedly brought Samoans to New Zealand to work illegally...
Hawaiian Airlines logo
Honolulu, HAWAII — Hawaiian Airlines in its blog poast has updated a suspicion that there was a human trafficking case on a flight to Honolulu. The FBI says no crime actually occurred. Samoa News reported late Friday afternoon that the airline said its attendants saw an older Asian man boarding a...

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