The Manukau District Court issued a warrant on August 22 to arrest a Fijian couple for failing to appear to answer a number of charges.
Ashneel Nand (25) and Sunita Devi (48) of Universal Immigration Services (NZ) face 50 charges relating to provision of immigration advice without a licence. The couple are accused of defrauding vulnerable migrants of over $50,000.
Mr Nand faces 42 charges including running an immigration practice without a licence (a mandatory requirement) issued by the Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA), asking and receiving a fee for immigration advice, and providing immigration advice without a license.
Ms Devi is facing eight charges including providing immigration advice without a licence and asking for or receiving a fee for the provision of immigration advice.
An IAA press release said that the charges against the couple stemmed from their involvement with three South Auckland companies, namely, Universal Immigration Services (NZ) Ltd (formerly known as Fast Track Immigration & Employment Services Ltd), Global Immigration Consultants Ltd and NZ Visa & Employment Ltd.
IAA brought the charges under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act, which obliges anyone (except practicing lawyers) providing New Zealand immigration advice to obtain a license, renewable every year.
Two weeks ago, a reader whose name has been withheld at his request, wrote to us complaining against the defendants.
“When contacted, Mr Nand told my wife that he had a job offer matching her qualifications. This man convinced us to deposit $5000 to his bank account. When we visited his office in Papatoetoe a few days later, we learnt that he had taken off to Fiji. We realised that we had made a big mistake since many people were trying to contact him for refund of monies paid to him.
“I am also asking for refund as he was giving fake job offers using which, we can never get a work visa. He is not responding to our calls,” he said.
IAA is investigating the reader’s complaint.
A number of publications in Fiji have carried reports about the defrauding couple.