31 May 2010

Sri Lankan's refugee status cancelled

4:07 pm on 31 May 2010

The refugee status of a woman from Sri Lanka has been cancelled after it was found that she lied when she arrived in New Zealand nine years ago.

The woman claimed to have been persecuted as a spy and a supporter of the Tamil Tiger rebels, despite living in Switzerland when the alleged events happened.

After she was granted New Zealand citizenship in 2006, Swiss authorities alerted New Zealand counterparts that she had lived in Switzerland for five years and was turned down for asylum twice.

She was found guilty of immigration fraud and jailed for 13 months in 2008.

The Refugee Status Appeals Authority has rejected her argument that the persecution happened before she fled to Switzerland.

Her New Zealand citizenship is now being reviewed.