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Two charged with defrauding vulnerable migrants of over $50,000

Media release

22 August 2013

A Flat Bush couple have failed to appear in Manukau District Court today to face 50 charges relating to the provision of immigration advice without a licence.  The couple are accused of defrauding vulnerable migrants of over $50,000.

Ashneel Nand and Sunita Devi, of Universal Immigration Services (NZ) Ltd were not present in court and warrants have been issued for their arrest.

Mr Nand, 25, is charged with 42 counts in total including holding himself out as a licensed immigration adviser knowing he was not licensed, asking for or receiving a fee for the provision of immigration advice, and providing immigration advice without a license.

Ms Devi, 48, is facing a total of eight charges including providing immigration advice without a licence and asking for or receiving a fee for the provision of immigration advice.

The charges against Mr Nand and Ms Devi stem from their involvement with three South Auckland companies: Universal Immigration Services (NZ) Ltd formerly known as Fast Track Immigration and Employment Services Ltd; Global Immigration Consultants Ltd; and NZ Visa & Employment Ltd.

All charges were brought by the Immigration Advisers Authority (the Authority) under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act.

Under the Act anyone providing New Zealand immigration advice must be licensed by the Authority unless exempt. Exempt people include New Zealand lawyers. To find out more about who can give immigration advice, visit www.iaa.govt.nz.


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.