Jail, detention for Fijian couple with fake NZ spouses
2 October, 2014, 8:30 pm
Update: 8:30PM A Fijian couple who pretended to be in relationships with New Zealanders to get residency in this country have been sentenced after being found guilty of providing false and misleading information to Immigration New Zealand.
Imraan Khan was sentenced yesterday in the Auckland District Court to 20 months’ imprisonment and Berlinda Williams was sentenced this morning to 12 months’ home detention.
INZ said in a statement that Williams applied for residence in 2008 based on her marriage to a New Zealand citizen.
In her application she said she had been living with her husband for one year and four months and that they were living together in a genuine and stable relationship.
After assessing the information provided, INZ approved Williams’ residence application.
In 2010 INZ received a work visa application from Khan, who was applying based on his marriage to a New Zealand citizen.
Khan provided a number of documents in support of his work visa application, some of which appeared to show a connection with Williams.
Further investigation established that, despite each being married to New Zealand citizens, Khan and Williams had in fact been in a relationship and had never lived with their New Zealand spouses.
During the investigation, Williams approached witnesses and tried to make them change the statements they had provided to INZ, leading to charges of perverting the course of justice in addition to those of providing false and misleading information to INZ.
INZ fraud investigator John Marston said it had been a complex case.
“Despite the significant effort put in by these two offenders to gain residence by deception, their ruse was picked up by our staff and they have paid the price,” Marston said.