Alleged visa scammer ordered to surrender passport

A woman charged over a visa scam that’s alleged to have potentially caught out hundreds of Filipino dairy workers has been ordered to surrender her passport.

The Te Aroha-based 35-year-old, who has joint Filipino and New Zealand citizenship, appeared in Hamilton District Court on Tuesday on three fraud-related charges.

She was granted interim name suppression, remanded on bail and ordered to surrender her passport.

The woman was arrested at her home last week after Immigration New Zealand became concerned about some visa applications made by Filipino workers.

Christchurch staff noticed discrepancies over qualifications and false claims of work experience, INZ says.

There are around 1700 Filipino dairy farm workers in New Zealand but officials don’t yet know how many may have been caught out by the alleged scam.

The figure won’t be nailed down until the workers reapply for their visas.

The charged woman is due back in court next month.


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