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Immigration fraudsters sentenced

Immigration fraudsters sentenced

Two Fijian nationals found guilty of providing false and misleading information to Immigration New Zealand (INZ) have been sentenced.

Imraan Khan was sentenced yesterday in the Auckland District Court to 20 months’ imprisonment and Berlinda Williams was sentenced this morning to 12 months’ home detention.

Williams applied for residence in 2008 based on her marriage to a New Zealand citizen. Williams stated in her application that she had been living with her husband for one year and four months and that they were living together in a genuine and stable relationship. After assessing the information provided, INZ approved Williams’ residence application.

In 2010 INZ received a work visa application from Khan, who was applying under partnership policy, based on his marriage to a New Zealand citizen.

Khan provided a number of documents in support of his work visa application, some of which appeared to show a connection with Williams.

Further investigation established that, despite each being married to New Zealand citizens, Khan and Williams had in fact been in a relationship and had never lived with their New Zealand spouses.

During the investigation, Williams approached witnesses and tried to make them change the statements they had provided INZ, leading to charges of perverting the course of justice in addition to those of providing false and misleading information to INZ.

INZ Fraud investigator John Marston says that the sentences imposed on Khan and Williams are a great result from what has been a complex case.

“This case really shows that fraud doesn’t pay,” Mr Marston says. “Despite the significant effort put in by these two offenders to gain residence by deception, their ruse was picked up by our staff and they have paid the price.”

For further information contact the media line on 0274 422 141 or email media@mbie.govt.nz


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