Residency granted to convicted prisoner

National’s  Immigration spokesperson Michael Woodhouse  is questioning why the Minister of Immigration has granted residency to someone who came to new Zealand in 2003 on a false passport and “is a known gang associate who is now serving time for importing drugs with a street value of $375,000”.

Govt must explain granting residency to dangerous criminal

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway needs to explain why he granted permanent residency to Karel Sroubek, also known as Jan Antolik, who is currently in prison, National’s Justice spokesperson Mark Mitchell and Immigration spokesperson Michael Woodhouse say.

“The Minister must release more information on what appears to be a disgraceful decision to grant residency to a violent gang associate convicted of importing drugs into New Zealand,” Mr Mitchell says.

“Mr Sroubek used a false passport to enter New Zealand in 2003. He is a known gang associate who is now serving time for importing drugs with a street value of $375,000.

“This is a person who the Parole Board has just decided is not safe enough to release back into the community. When his sentence ends, instead of being deported he will now be released back into the community.”

“Mr Lees-Galloway will not say why he made the decision to grant residency, nor what the conditions of his residency are,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“Serious questions need to be answered by the Minister about his decision. The information I have on this case does not come close to any threshold where special consideration should be given by the Minister.

“This Government has promised to clamp down on immigration, making it harder for Kiwi employers to fill skills shortages, yet it allows violent criminals to stay here.

“National is the party of the law and order and we are committed to making our communities safer and putting victims first. We will not stand by while decision like these are made without any justification.”

National has been banging the ‘tough on crime’ drum quite a bit lately, but looks like a fair question.

Stuff: Jailed drug-dealer escapes deportation as Government grants him NZ residency

A convicted drug smuggler has been handed an unprecedented get-out-of-jail card: instead of being deported after serving his prison sentence, the Government has granted him New Zealand residency.

Minister of Immigration Ian Lees-Galloway has made a special decision to grant the 37-year-old Czech national residency, even though he came to New Zealand on a false passport and is now serving time in Auckland South prison for importing drugs with a street value of $375,000.

Karel Sroubek​ fled to New Zealand with a friend’s passport in 2003. He claimed he was on the run from corrupt cops after witnessing a murder. Under the name Jan Antolik he built a new life as a businessman, a representative-level kickboxer, and a Hells Angels associate.

When the law caught up with him, he admitted his criminal ties in the Czech Republic – but he seemed unable to escape old habits with several brushes with NZ Police over the past 15 years.

Sroubek has faced several charges, relating to drugs and robbery. But was either acquitted or had his convictions overturned – until he was found guilty of using his drink importation business as a front to smuggle 5kg of MDMA, which is used to make the drug Ecstasy. He was jailed for five years and nine months.

He was refused parole last month: Parole Board panel convenor Judge Phil Gittos said he gave “evasive, long-winded and … in many respects manifestly untruthful” responses.

Lees-Galloway says there are legal and privacy reasons why he can’t comment on this case.

But yesterday, Lees-Galloway confirmed he had granted Sroubek residence subject to “significant conditions,” and after careful consideration of all information available to Immigration NZ.

He would not say why he had granted the drug smuggler residency, or reveal the conditions.

“For privacy and legal reasons, I am unable to disclose this information, or comment on specific details of the case,” he told Stuff.

“It’s not a decision I’ve taken lightly.”

 

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46 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  October 29, 2018

    National trying to make poilitical capital here.
    Woodhouse understands the process.

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  October 29, 2018

      It’s quite an extreme way for Labour to secure themselves one more vote in the next election but they all count.

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  October 29, 2018

      Yes, he does know the process, but the crucial element in such a decision in this case is the weighing and balancing of the relevant factors. And possibly Woodhouse would have gone the other way. As Lees-Galloway and the prisoner concerned have no obligation to disclose those we can never know what tipped the balance. Lees-Galloway has made some good decisions imo but those I recall have all been on the “can come” or “can stay” end of the spectrum, so it’s hard to say whether he’s too soft. The overriding reason for letting a shit like this stay must be pretty damn important though, because such a decision will always be contentious and criticised.

      Reply
  2. Ray

     /  October 29, 2018

    This sounds so dodgy, he has lied and then lied again.
    The only logical explanation ( after must be Labours preferred drug supplier ) is that he is or was helpful in the bringing down of serious criminals, his story of it was all someone else’s fault is as believable as “the dog ate my homework “.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  October 29, 2018

      so if he has proved to be a useful informant is the stance justified….publicity would probably put his life at risk…here.

      Reply
      • artcroft

         /  October 29, 2018

        I think the information he supplied was along the lines of “Guilty your honour”. – Send him home.

        Reply
  3. Corky

     /  October 29, 2018

    Just the type of compassion Andrew Little would approve of. National should promise to revoke his citzenship if at all possible.

    Reply
    • Chuck Bird

       /  October 29, 2018

      He does not have citizenship. National promise he never will.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  October 29, 2018

        Thiel does though…popped in for 11 days ..all it takes when Nats are in charge.
        How has NZ benefited?

        Reply
        • High Flying Duck

           /  October 29, 2018

          There was 7-figure donation toward the Christchurch rebuild for starters?
          He put $4m into Xero in the early days to help get it started and sat on it’s board to help drive it’s growth into one of NZ’s biggest companies.
          He helped fund the second fibre cable into NZ with another multi-million dollar investment.
          As far as I know he hasn’t imported any meth though, so I guess that’s a fail.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  October 29, 2018

            his personal investment portfolio is irrelevant.
            Lets say $1mil to Chch fund and say 100k party donation.
            His ‘partnership’ with the NZ taxpayer…buying Xero shares resulted in him netting 20mil profit…taxpayer basically got their money back .

            Win,win for-THIEL.

            Btw do you know the dif between meth and ecstacy?

            Reply
            • High Flying Duck

               /  October 29, 2018

              He was given residency due to the impact he could have on NZ start up businesses and the tech sector.
              But despite this his impact on and investments in the tech sector are irrelevant.
              Oh, and making money is bad.
              Good-oh.
              Re the last bit. Wouldn’t have clue. Haven’t tried either.

            • Blazer

               /  October 29, 2018

              making money in a lop sided deal as he entered into with the NZ Govt at the time just shows how naieve/stupid they were and how easy it is to speculate on s/p in a bull market.

              ‘he could have’….take that to the bank….you banker! ;(

            • High Flying Duck

               /  October 29, 2018

              I didn’t mention the Government investment partnership, through the structure and format vehicle set up by Michael Cullen. I just answered your question.

              Luckily Joyce changed the scheme to be far more beneficial to the Government in the future.

              “Both Xero and TransferWise were investments out of Valar’s $100M first fund, which was a series of special purpose vehicles, including a $32 million New Zealand specific fund.From its two funds, Valar has led investments in several startups including Xero, TransferWise, Breather, Number26, EyeEm, Even, Lystable, Granify, Homie, TradeIt, Vend, Descomplica, Oppa and Dinda.”

              And note the Government did make money from the deal with Valar.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  October 29, 2018

              Meth is a drug, ecstacy is a feeling of extreme happiness.

        • Trevors_Elbow

           /  October 29, 2018

          SQUIRRELLLLLLLLLLLL… Your obession’s are getting the best of you. The bad day Key and his mates are gone Bol… focus on the now…if you can…

          Reply
        • Gezza

           /  October 29, 2018

          What’s Theil been convicted of? Just asking – I don’t know his history – only from your endless whining about him that he got a fast track to residency in return for bugger all benefit to the NZ public and enriched himself with whatever the bsuiness deal was.

          Reply
      • Corky

         /  October 29, 2018

        Thanks for correcting my mistake, Chuck.

        Reply
        • High Flying Duck

           /  October 29, 2018

          You are equating Lees-Galloway pro-actively awarding residency to a scumbag with Woodhouse intervening and curbing Immigration NZ’s authority to make sure people actually are deported after the department off its own bat made an appalling call to not deport.
          Your mind is a curious and disturbing place…

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  October 29, 2018

            nothing pro active about Lees Galloways decision that I can ascertain.
            Woodhouse used an excuse of relying on INZ.

            Reply
            • High Flying Duck

               /  October 29, 2018

              You didn’t look very far then:

              “Lees-Galloway used his power of “absolute discretion” to cancel deportation liability and grant residence to Karel Sroubek, also known as Jan Antolik.

              Absolute discretion decisions are often the last option available for people to remain in New Zealand for cases outside ordinary immigration settings.

              National’s immigration spokesman Michael Woodhouse, a former immigration minister, said Lees-Galloway had serious questions to answer.”

              https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11844260

            • High Flying Duck

               /  October 29, 2018

              INZ had broad discretion – ministers do not usually need to get involved. The decision they made in the article you posted was dreadful so the minister stepped in to make sure the right decisions are made in the future..
              Short of micromanaging there isn’t much more he could do.

          • Blazer

             /  October 29, 2018

            did Woodhouse get the sex offendor deported…or not?

            Reply
            • High Flying Duck

               /  October 29, 2018

              Do you even read what you post Blazer?

              “”The decision to suspend liability for deportation for five years was made in this case by a senior official from INZ, who has delegated authority under the Immigration Act 2009 to make such decisions on behalf of the Minister of Immigration,” Immigration New Zealand Area Manager Darren Calder said.

              “As such there is no legal ability to review the decision.”

              What he did was make sure it wouldn’t happen again.

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  October 29, 2018

    His history is so dreadful it is inconceivable to me that the Minister would have made this decision without compelling reasons.

    Reply
    • duperez

       /  October 29, 2018

      It is all about politics and electioneering shown by “National is the party of the law and order.”

      I think it is reasonable to suggest that had Michael Woodhouse being in the same position, with the same person, with the exactly the same circumstances most likely would have made the same decision.

      He would have expected us to trust him. I can’t imagine him declining residency and mounting an information campaign about the man with all the details and ending it with “National is the party of the law and order.” Or letting the guy stay and then releasing the specific details.

      Mark Mitchell is grandstanding. In the same position he would adopt his “get stuffed, I made the decision, it’s the right decision” attitude. This is just another opportunity for him to be visible in his jockeying for another position.

      Reply
    • High Flying Duck

       /  October 29, 2018

      One opiion:

      But…

      Reply
      • High Flying Duck

         /  October 29, 2018

        End part to Geddis tweet:

        Reply
    • High Flying Duck

       /  October 29, 2018

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  October 29, 2018

        Wouldn’t bother the Aussies. Czech government has a responsibility to protect their citizens. Not putting ours at risk of a criminal. Their problem. Here’s your plane ticket. Here’s the nice big fulla who’s going with you & making sure you get off at the other end !

        Reply
  5. Zedd

     /  October 29, 2018

    BUT…What are we NOT hearing ?

    Reply
    • duperez

       /  October 29, 2018

      Do we hear everything, every time, on every issue? Or do we trust the people in charge to listen to advice and do what they think is right?

      In this case we hear all the information and have a public vote? Or go in overdrive to criticise the decision made by someone if it differs from our opinion?

      Reply
      • PDB

         /  October 29, 2018

        In your case dupz if it’s a National govt you want to know but if it’s a Labour one – not so much…

        Reply
        • duperez

           /  October 29, 2018

          I didn’t want to know about the cases under National because there weren’t any.

          Reply
          • duperez

             /  October 29, 2018

            Were there?😊

            Reply
            • PDB

               /  October 29, 2018

              Not sure but telling us to ‘trust’ minister decisions without question probably is being a little naïve – if that was the case Clare Curran would be still running around in her portfolio pretending to be running the most open and transparent govt ever.

            • duperez

               /  October 29, 2018

              Clare Curran’s big decision was whether to have a coffee with some RNZ employee. Fairly similar situations and fairly similar names too with Karel Sroubek and Carol Hirschfeld. 🙂

              (And of course there were cases with previous governments.)

  6. Blazer

     /  October 29, 2018

    seems to be just ‘fashionable’…means SFA…

    ‘Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says while he accepts the Inspector-General’s report into former Labour leader Phil Goff and the SIS, there is nothing unusual with journalists and politicians talking with each other.

    He told TV3’s The Nation this morning that Prime Minister John Key ran the “most transparent government that New Zealand’s ever seen”.-nzh 2014.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  October 29, 2018

      Well, from what I see Labour and National talking about being most transparent government ever are both a bloody joke. That claim’s been well tossed out the window – with both parties.

      Reply
  7. Zedd

     /  October 30, 2018

    During Q-time Winston pointed to a group who were reportedly given residence under prev. Natl Govt. Inc,: rapists & murderers… what about Mr Dotcom ?

    All the hype from Natl, about this guy being a Drug dealer (E tabs) & a gangster seemed, perhaps a little overstated, in comparison ??

    BUT.. it does sound like perhaps, something else is being ‘not mentioned’ here ???

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  October 30, 2018

      A simple fix would be for the govt to allow the opposition spokesperson to view the data – if it’s such a clear cut decision then they should then agree with the govt’s decision and then National can drop the attacks over it. This already occurs in other areas such as National security issues.

      Reply

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