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.
So he came here on a false passport, is in prison for his criminal offending and good old Labour says hey let’s make him a permanent resident because we need more criminals in NZ.
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.
So the Parole Board says this guy is a liar, but Lees-Galloway says he’s an upstanding chap we should give residency to.