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Fijian sentenced on immigration fraud charges Tuesday, 31 January 2017

A Fijian national who failed to obtain a visa to come to New Zealand on multiple occasions has been sentenced after fraudulently obtaining a passport using a false identity and entering New Zealand under the false identity.

Kamla Wati, who is 59, was sentenced in the Hamilton District Court today to a total of 19 months’ imprisonment having pleaded guilty to three charges of providing false or misleading information to an immigration officer in respect of visa applications and one charge of producing a fraudulently obtained passport.

The court heard that Wati visited New Zealand from Fiji on three occasions between September 2009 and March 2012. She subsequently unsuccessfully applied for residency and numerous visitor visa applications were declined on character grounds.

Wati’s return to New Zealand in 2015 was initially undetected by authorities because she had entered New Zealand under the fraudulently obtained passport under the alias, “Rukhmanny”.

Immigration New Zealand Assistant General Manager Peter Devoy says the dual identities came to light when Wati was asked to provide her original passport as part of the verification process for a partnership-based temporary visa application she made.

“A facial comparison between photographs of Wati and Rukhmanny indicated they were the one and same person,” Mr Devoy says. “A subsequent fingerprint analysis corroborated the facial recognition evidence.

“The integrity of the immigration system is paramount and this type of fraud will not be tolerated. Today’s sentence is a strong deterrent.”

A Deportation Order has been served on Wati.

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