4 Jan 2013

Drop in number of card-skimmers trying to enter NZ

8:02 pm on 4 January 2013

Immigration New Zealand says there has been a marked drop in the number of people involved in card-skimming trying to get into New Zealand.

Skimming is the illegal copying of information from the magnetic strip of a credit or ATM card.

Last April nine suspected Bulgarian skimmers were stopped from entering the country and the following month a Bulgarian and a Romanian were stopped at Auckland airport after profiling specialists picked them out.

Customs officers found electronic equipment when they searched their luggage.

Immigration New Zealand believes word has got around that this country is not the soft touch once thought.

Pre-arrival screening trial hailed as success

Immigration New Zealand says a trial of software allowing it to target undesirable people before they get here is proving very successful.

In the 2011-12 year, out of 4.8 million incoming passengers, 1500 were denied boarding at an overseas airport or port because of pre-arrival screening.

Immigration New Zealand says as each person checks in to journey here, information about them is collected.

The agency says it is much easier and cheaper to keep career criminals out of New Zealand before they set off than to turn them around at an airport here.

Another 790 people were refused entry when they arrived in New Zealand.