The Auckland District Court sentenced two Fijian nationals on charges of providing false and misleading information to Immigration New Zealand (INZ) on October 2, 2014.
The Court sentenced Imraan Khan to 20 months imprisonment, while Berlinda Williams was sentenced to home detention of 12 months.
The Court was told that Williams applied for residence in 2008 based on her marriage to a New Zealand citizen. She stated in her application that she had been living with her husband for one year and four months and that they were living together in a genuine and stable relationship.
After assessing the information provided, INZ approved Williams’ residence application.
In 2010, INZ received a work visa application from Khan, who was applying under partnership policy, based on his marriage to a New Zealand citizen.
Khan provided a number of documents in support of his work visa application, some of which appeared to show a connection with Williams.
Further investigation established that, despite each being married to New Zealand citizens, Khan and Williams had in fact been in a relationship and had never lived with their New Zealand spouses.
During the investigation, Williams approached witnesses and tried to make them change the statements they had provided INZ, leading to charges of perverting the course of justice in addition to those of providing false and misleading information.
INZ Fraud investigator John Marston described the sentences as ‘a great result from what has been a complex case.’
“This case really shows that fraud does not pay. Despite the significant effort of these two offenders to gain residence by deception, our staff picked up their ruse and offenders have paid the price,” he said.