Identity fraudsters enter New Zealand on fake Malaysian passports
Fake Malaysian passports are being used by a growing number of foreigners to enter New Zealand illegally.
Since July last year, eight people attempted to enter New Zealand using fake Malaysian passports, but were refused entry when the identity frauds were discovered. In May this year, three Chinese nationals in transit to South America were refused entry at Auckland Airport when their passports were discovered to be counterfeit.
Those travelling on Malaysian passports are allowed visa-free entry to New Zealand, with the small spike in attempted illegal entry causing concern to the New Zealand authorities. A spokeswoman from NZ Immigration Services, Ailsa Mannell, told the NZ Herald that fake passports were often used in connection with people-smuggling, adding that profiling techniques were being used to identify possible offenders.
More than 70 identity fraudsters have been prosecuted since July 2010, and those arrested at the border have been deported unless they were found to be applying for refugee status. Nationalities involved were Chinese, Russian, Algerian, Venezuelan, Sri Lankan and also included several people from Cameroon.
The number of Malaysian visitors entering NZ has soared 44 per cent since January, and border control official are concerned that identity thieves may have slipped through on counterfeit passports. Last month, as Chinese traditional medicine practitioner reported to the immigration authorities that two Chinese women had told his they’d purchased their Malaysian passports in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysian immigration officers are aware counterfeit passports are being sold by people-smuggling syndicates. These allow travellers to illegally enter countries who have visa-free entry arrangements with Malaysia, including New Zealand and the European Union countries.
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