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Visa Sale Targeting Tongan Community

MEDIA RELEASE
18 AUGUST 2011


Visa Sale Targeting Tongan Community

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is urging Tongan nationals to be wary of a scam involving the selling of visas.

INZ general manager Steve Stuart says the Service has been alerted to visas being sold to Tongan nationals at a cost of $290 each.

“This is a complete fraud and I can’t emphasise strongly enough that Immigration New Zealand is the only agency that can issue a visa to remain lawfully in New Zealand,” Mr Stuart says.

“I appeal in the strongest possible terms for people concerned about their immigration status to talk to us and not be taken in by such scams. We encourage people to report to the Police anyone involved in such a scam or if they think they may be a victim of such a scam.”

This latest scam comes just three weeks after the sentencing of Aucklander Gerard Otimi who was paid $500 by overstayers for a stamp and a certificate that he said allowed them to be part of his hapu and to stay in New Zealand.

Otimi was sentenced to 18 months in jail and ordered to pay $12,500 in reparation to his victims.

Mr Stuart says the sentence should act as an eye opener for many migrants and sends a clear message that there is zero-tolerance for immigration fraud.

ENDS.


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