An Auckland couple has been charged with human trafficking, exploitation and other immigration-related offences.
Mohammed Atiqul Islam and Nafisa Ahmed's are due to appear in the Auckland District Court.
The pair owned a sweet shop trading as Royal Indian sweets, which failed in 2017.
The company went into liquidation and owed seven creditors nearly $28,000.
The liquidators noted that there were insufficient funds to pay any of the creditors.
The pair face additional charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Trafficking in persons is punishable under the Crimes Act with imprisonment for up to 20 years, a fine of $500,000 or both.
The maximum penalty on the exploitation, false and misleading information and aiding and abetting charges is seven years' imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding $100,000.
The maximum penalty for attempting to pervert the course of justice is seven years' imprisonment.
Because the matter is before the court, Immigration New Zealand was not able to provide any further comment.
The pair's trial is expected to last three weeks.