Woman surrenders to face fraud charge

By Imran Ali

A woman facing charges for a visa scam has given herself up to police after months on the run.

Kolini Vaka, who has links to Northland and is also known as Kolini Tatafu, contacted Otahuhu police about two weeks ago after Tongan radio and newspapers in South Auckland began running articles about the scam.

Tongan overstayers, mostly in South Auckland and in Hawkes Bay, were duped with fake residence visas. Police are also investigating Vaka's links in Kaitaia.

Although police have not received any complaints from the Far North town, detectives have not ruled out the possibility Northlanders were scammed.

The officer in charge of investigations, Ross Ellwood, said Vaka was facing a single charge of obtaining money by deception.

She has appeared in the Manukau District Court and was released on bail to re-appear today.

Other charges could possibly be laid once investigations conclude.

Melino Maka, chairman of the Tongan Advisory Council, said Vaka's arrest was a relief to all who had been concerned about her behaviour.

- Northern Advocate

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