Sri Lankan visa scam revealed

Something to add to the immigration debate.

RNZ: Sri Lankan visa scam revealed, but no review of past applications

Immigration officials are investigating a major scam involving student visa applications from Sri Lanka.

The New Zealand immigration office in Mumbai that handles Sri Lankan applications received a tip off at the start of the year.

Inquiries led officials to conclude a Sri Lankan based company was fraudulently creating documentation to help students meet the criteria of having money in the bank.

Official briefings to Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway show investigations are under way into the potential involvement of education agents in Sri Lanka, the finance company, whose name is redacted in the papers, and students as a result of these revelations.

There were 88 pending applications when the fraud was discovered and after further checks were done 83 were declined. The tip-off was in January.

The National Party wants to know why hundreds of past visas that have been granted to Sri Lankan students won’t be reviewed.

Former Immigration Minister and National Party spokesperson Michael Woodhouse asked Mr Lees-Galloway whether he would look at past years to make sure the visas approved were legitimate.

Mr Lees-Galloway said that after scrutinising, then rejecting, most of the 88 applications the focus would now be on any future signs of fraud.

“To identify applications with similar characteristics already decided by INZ [Immigration New Zealand] would require substantial collation which I do not believe is in the public interest.”

According to Mr Woodhouse up to half of Sri Lankan applicants could have used the company “fraudulently”, and said that should be enough for officials to find how widespread any fraud was.

Leave a comment

5 Comments

  1. PartisanZ

     /  July 31, 2018

    Colour me surprized!

    The old adage holds true: Create a market niche or opening and sure as money is the root of all evil someone will fill it …

    Reply
    • The verse from Timothy actually says that ‘…the love of money is the root of all evil.’ and expands upon this. It’s not the money itself that’s evil, money is just a token.

      Reply
  2. Blazer

     /  July 31, 2018

    tip of the iceberg.People with chinese sounding surnames have made a fine art of this for deacdes …now.

    Reply
    • sorethumb

       /  July 31, 2018

      the can money that acts as the shuttle cock for the business investor.

      Reply
  3. sorethumb

     /  July 31, 2018

    clan

    Reply

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