Masala boss sentenced to home detention

Rupinder Singh Chahil allegedly “pulled the strings” of the Masala Indian restaurant chain.

The man who allegedly “pulled the strings” of the Masala Indian restaurant chain has been sentenced to six months’ home detention and ordered to pay $2500 in reparations for exploiting a migrant worker.

Rupinder Singh Chahil appeared in the Auckland District Court this morning, having earlier pleaded guilty to providing false or misleading information to an immigration officer, according to media reports.

He hired a woman to work as the assistant manager in the Masala Mission Bay restaurant and signed documents as Joti Jain, another director of Masala.

Chahil provided the documents to an immigration officer and the woman was granted a two-year visa in January 2013.

She was paid as little as $3 an hour, worked 66 hour weeks and Chahil got her to clean his house.

The woman left 10 months later but was owed wages and holiday pay of $23,000, Immigration NZ said.

Chahil is the third person at Masala to have been sentenced for exploiting workers. Jain was sentenced to 11 months’ home detention, 220 hours’ community work and ordered to pay $58,000 reparation, while Rajwinder Singh Grewal was sentenced to four months’ home detention and ordered to pay $5000 reparation.

The Masala group is subject to a $34 million asset restraining order and the liquidators of various entities, Waterstone Insolvency, have been pursuing Masala representatives Jain, Grewal, Ravinder Kaur and Satwant Singh for failing to comply with court orders.

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