Selaima Fakaosilea was jailed for 12 and a half years in June 2019 for her involvement in the greatest meth bust in the nation at the time. Photo / NZME
A prison officer has resigned after having a romantic relationship with All-Black Jonah Lomu’s niece who is currently serving time in prison for the infamous Ninety Mile Beach meth haul.
Selaima Fakaosilea, a close relative of the late All-Black legend, was jailed for 12 and a half years in June 2019 for her involvement in the biggest meth bust in the nation at the time, which saw 501kg of the class A substance arrive at Ninety Mile Beach in the Far North.
The Crown said Fakaosilea had an embedded role in the criminal group and had rolled up her sleeves and got involved by organising hire vehicles, the transportation of two Asian men to the Far North and satellite phones.
Fakaosilea was found guilty in 2019 and sentenced to 12-and-a-half years in jail to be served at Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility in Wiri.
It was here that she formed a romantic relationship with a prison guard, which was discovered after prison authorities found a cell phone in her cell.
Corrections said a search through the phone uncovered not only the relationship but also information that showed the guard had been smuggling the items in for Fakaosilea.
The planned search also uncovered a charger and headphones among her possessions, which prison authorities seized immediately and then charged Fakaosilea with misconduct charges.
Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility prison director Tayla Yandall said the search was triggered by a tip about the relationship and smuggled goods.
The guard resigned after a formal meeting regarding the allegations was scheduled on October 15, Yandall said.
Yandall also said additional steps at the prison to reinforce that this behaviour “will not be tolerated”.
“We will not tolerate this type of behaviour in our prisons and expect a high standard of conduct from all employees,” Yandall said.
“We have taken additional steps at the prison to reinforce that this behaviour will not be tolerated.
“This includes increased targeted searches if and when required and I also arranged a visit from the Corrections Integrity team to meet with staff and discuss their role and the support they offer.”
Yandall said Corrections currently employs about 10,000 people, of which the “overwhelming majority” work with “integrity, honesty and professionalism”.
“Our clear expectation is that staff uphold the standards of behaviour in our Code of Conduct, and comply with the law. We demand a high standard of conduct and integrity from all employees, and if any staff don’t meet the standards required we take action,” Yandall said.