Immigration scam set up fake job offers

By Alanah Eriksen, Alanah May Eriksen

A victim of an elaborate immigration scam has told how he paid $9000 to two men he thought were recruitment officers and was offered three jobs which didn't exist.

Two of the organisers of the ring were found guilty in the Auckland District Court last week.

Kumar Akkineni Choudary and Lourdu Joseph William Reddy, who both moved to New Zealand from India in the 1990s, tricked more than 20 Indian and Chinese immigrants, either already in the country or overseas, into paying thousands of dollars.

They sent fake job offers to the applicants who then submitted them to the Department of Immigration so they could gain New Zealand residency.

Choudary and Reddy were revealed as the key players in the scam by a woman receiving a cut of the money for producing some of the offers through her company. Nancee Vuetibau wrote letters under some of her various registered company names including V.5 Image Trust, which was set up with the intention in 2003 to help wayward South Auckland teenagers. The company was struck off in 2004. Reddy had also been on the board of trustees of the company.

Vuetibau was found guilty in 2006 on 12 counts of supplying false or misleading information and three forgery charges and sentenced to 22 months of home detention.

Another man, Denis Hansen - a former trustee of the controversial Waipareira Trust - was charged with supplying offers under his company Mantech Services Ltd. He was acquitted.

An Indian national now living in the Auckland suburb of Avondale told the Herald he met Choudary and his wife Neelam in 2002 after hearing about the scheme from a friend back in India who read an advertisement in a newspaper.

The highly qualified 32-year-old was asked to pay $3500 in return for a job offer.

"They said that if you paid a bit of extra money, they could get the case sped up. They said that they had some contacts with the immigration office people."

About five days after their fist meeting, the Choudarys sent the man a job offer working on computers for a company called Xzact.

The man, who did not want to be named for fear of retribution, submitted the letter to immigration but didn't hear back from them or Xzact for about eight months.

He phoned the company to inquire about the job but no one seemed to know about it.

The Choudarys claimed it was an immigration mistake and the man was sent another letter offering him a job with Denis Hansen's company Mantech and he was asked for another $3000.

The man said he was given a business card for him. He phoned the number on the card and claims someone answered saying he was Mr Hansen and that the job was genuine.

Immigration didn't accept the offer so he was sent a third letter offering him a job as an administrator for Nancee Vuetibau's grass-cutting company Ace Care Consultants and asked for another $2500.

The man, who has since got married and has a six-month-old baby, finally got a job through a legitimate recruitment company at a service station and has since been granted citizenship.

He now works as a taxi driver.

- NZ Herald

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