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Tongan woman admits guilt in widespread immigration scam

Media release

21 February 2013

A woman has appeared in court to admit her part in a widespread immigration scam in the Tongan community.

Tongan national Khadijah Lolohea (also known as Khadijah PIU), of Mt Roskill, Auckland, pleaded guilty to providing immigration advice without a licence at Auckland District court yesterday (20 February 2013).

The nine charges were brought by the Immigration Advisers Authority following a multi-agency investigation.

Authority Registrar Barry Smedts said: “This is a significant result for the Immigration Advisers Authority. Victims had to trust us. They had to trust that reporting Lolohea to the Immigration Advisers Authority would not affect their visa applications. And they had to trust that, if they were in New Zealand illegally, the Authority had no power to deport them.”

Lolohea, 38, is to appear for sentencing on 23 May 2013.

The Immigration Advisers Authority licenses immigration advisers and takes complaints against immigration advisers. Find out more at www.iaa.govt.nz.

ENDS

Notes to editor

The Immigration Advisers Authority was set up to promote and protect the interests of people receiving New Zealand immigration advice.

We do this by:

Under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007 anyone giving immigration advice must have a licence unless they are exempt. Exempt people include lawyers with a current New Zealand practising certificate and Citizens Advice Bureaux staff among others.

The Authority is independent of Immigration New Zealand and cannot give immigration advice or influence a visa application.

Under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007 only those people who are licensed or exempt are able to give immigration advice about New Zealand. A person who provides immigration advice without being licensed or exempt commits an offence.