8 Nov 2012

People seeking immigration advice in New Zealand warned about fraudsters

7:33 pm on 8 November 2012

The New Zealand Government's Immigration Advisers Authority is reminding people to check to ensure anyone providing advice is licensed.

This comes after an unlicensed immigration adviser was ordered to make refunds after collecting more than 4 thousand US dollars running an unlawful immigration business.

Kauapi Lutelu, who is also known as Prince Pastor Kauapi Lutelu Salanoa of Mangere, pleaded guilty to six charges in court in September.

He avoided a jail term because of his severe mental illness, a sentence of 14 days community detention and the order to give refunds to four victims.

Lutelu had advertised that he had been given a 'quota' from the Minister of Immigration for 250 Fiji nationals who required work permits or permanent residency and that applicants would need to pay just over 40 US dollars.

He wrote to those who registered for his fake quota, saying they would be charged about 800 US dollars for a work permit and about 1600 US dollars for permanent residence.