NEW Zealand's Manukau District Court has issued an arrest warrant for two Fiji-born South Auckland Immigration advisers who failed to appear in court to face 50 charges relating to the provision of immigration advice without a licence last week.
In a statement issued to this newspaper, the New Zealand Immigration Advisers Authority said the couple were accused of defrauding vulnerable migrants of more than $50,000.
The authority said Ashneel Nand and Sunita Devi of Universal Immigration Services (NZ) Ltd were not present in court and warrants had been issued for their arrest.
Mr Nand, 25, is charged with 42 counts in total, including holding himself out as a licensed immigration adviser knowing he was not licensed, asking for or receiving a fee for the provision of immigration advice, and providing immigration advice without a licence.
Ms Devi, 48, is facing a total of eight charges, including providing immigration advice without a licence and asking for or receiving a fee for the provision of immigration advice.
The charges against Mr Nand and Ms Devi stem from their involvement with three South Auckland companies — Universal Immigration Services (NZ) Ltd formerly known as Fast Track Immigration and Employment Services Ltd; Global Immigration Consultants Ltd; and NZ Visa and Employment Ltd.
According to the authority, all charges were brought by the Immigration Advisers Authority under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act.
Under the Act, anyone providing New Zealand immigration advice must be licensed by the authority unless exempted.