Barlow case prompts calls for more checks between Aus and NZ
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has promised to deal with an ‘information blackspot’ that allowed fraudster Joe Barlow to cover his New Zealand criminal record and commit further crimes in Australia. In light of the case, Bligh said she, Julia Gillard and NZ Prime Minister John Key would work together to increase criminal checks on cross-Tasman routes.
The announcement came after Barlow’s criminal record for New Zealand was published, showing he stole $55,000 from the tax office during his time working for them. According to the Sunday Mail in Brisbane, Barlow then tried to pull a scam at a national children’s day event after fleeing to Australia in 2003.
The fraudster managed to take on the role of grants officer for Queensland Health due to the confinement of Crimtrac records to local jurisdictions and the absence of immigration checks between NZ and Australia.
Bligh said the loophole needs to be closed, according to a report by The Australian. She added that criminals are being allowed passage in both directions due to the lack of comprehensive checking between the two nations.
Adam Magill, Mr Barlow’s lawyer, confirmed that his 36-year-old client would be pleading guilty to what is the biggest theft of public funds in the state’s history. He pretended to be a Tahitian prince and apparently stole $11 million from Queensland Health.
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