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The Immigration Service and police have confirmed the incident happened at Salon 33, a Chinese massage parlour in Panmure, Auckland, on November Former immigration minister Tuariki Delamere has accused the Immigration Service of using Gestapo tactics and conducting illegal raids for the show without proper documentation, a claim denied by officials.
Witnesses said the year-old man panicked when he heard a commotion as officials and a Cream Media television crew entered the brothel. He then leapt from a window seven metres up. He suffered serious injuries but was helped by a friend back to his home in Manukau, where he died the next day.
Police and immigration officers involved in the raid knew nothing of the man's injuries till friends told police of his death. Neither police nor the Immigration Service would confirm the man's name, nationality or occupation. Neither would they say why he jumped to his eventual death. I don't know what he was doing there. It's just a terribly unfortunate accident. Police had investigated the death but no charges would be laid. The matter was set down for a coroner's inquest. Mr Delamere represented a Chinese brothel worker caught up in the raid.
He said she was served with an order revoking her visa but it was withdrawn when he challenged the raid's legality. She told him the man was terrified when the raid began. What precipitated his jumping out the window was a fishing raid by police and Immigration without warrants or deportation or removal orders. They just went from room to room hauling people out. However, the Immigration Department has no right using Gestapo tactics to break in just because they want to be on reality television.
A spokeswoman for the Immigration Service said the Salon 33 visit was a routine operation and was not carried out specifically for the Borderline programme. Immigration accepted no responsibility for the man's death. TVNZ spokeswoman Melanya Burrows said the state broadcaster had not been aware of the incident till alerted by media yesterday.