New Zealand passport scammer appeal rejected
A New Zealand court has rejected an appeal by a man found guilty of a scam in which visa overstayers paid him to put fake stamps in their passports. Gerard Otimi charged those in breach of their visas, mainly from Tongan and Samoan, $500 each for the stamp that did nothing to help their cause.
Otimi said they would be allowed to stay until 2018 if they became part of his hapu. He gave them hapu adoption certificates and said neither the police of the immigration authorities could remove the Pacific Islanders from the country.
After being found guilty Manukau District Court in March of 38 counts of altering documents with intent to cause loss, Otimi was sentenced to 18 months home arrest. However, his punishment was put on hold in while he appealed against the verdict.
The scam artist claimed there was a miscarriage of justice in his trial, but his arguments were rejected by New Zealand’s Court of Appeal. He will now serve the remaining 16 months of his sentence.
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