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Big fines for immigration advisers

By Hana Garrett-Walker

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

An immigration adviser has been fined $3000 after he left a family stranded illegally in New Zealand - one of two punishments for immigration advisers announced today.

In decisions released today the Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal barred Prem Singh and Barbara Nassiep from applying for a licence for two years.

Mr Singh, of Romys Immigration Services in Hillsborough, was penalised for "delinquent disregard for professional obligations," the tribunal said.

Mr Singh lodged a visa application for his client which failed.

He told his client the matter was being referred to the Ombudsmen and he could not be contacted after that.

When his client contacted Immigration New Zealand she discovered there was no ongoing process and she and her family were in New Zealand unlawfully.

"This was not an isolated lapse; in the course of his instructions Mr Singh consistently failed to act professionally," the tribunal said.

Mr Singh was ordered to refund fees of $1480, pay compensation of $1200 and pay $3000 in penalties.

In the second case, Ms Nassiep, also known as Barbara Parker, failed to sign a written agreement with her client or account for fees she received in advance from her client when her licence had expired.

"This was not simply an issue of lack of care; she held funds she had no entitlement to, did not bank them properly and then left the country.

"Ms Nassiep's lack of remorse, insight, or even willingness to engage with what is clearly a serious complaint, is significant."

She was ordered to refund fees of $7505, and pay $4000 in penalties.

- APNZ

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