Otahuhu Police have been investigating a number of people in regards to an immigration scam involving members of the Tongan community living in New Zealand and being promised Permanent Residency status for a cash fee.
The inquiry has involved a large number of people being interviewed, and has identified one person acting through a number of unwitting intermediaries to defraud Tongans seeking permanent residency status in New Zealand.
As a result Mrs Kolini Tatafu has been arrested and charged with fraud related offending. All others spoken to by police have co-operated with the inquiry and at this stage there is insufficient evidence to proceed with criminal charges with anybody else.
Police are also currently holding a number of unclaimed Tongan passports which need to be returned. These passports can be picked up from the Otahuhu Police Station from 10am-2pm Monday to Friday.
Any passports remaining unclaimed at the end of October 2012 will be returned to the Tongan Government.
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is assisting the New Zealand Police with this investigation and has been provided with a list of people who have credible complaints related to the prosecution of Mrs Tatafu. Immigration NZ are assisting the Police to ensure witnesses are able to remain in New Zealand for the duration of Court proceedings.
At the conclusion of the court case Immigration New Zealand will review the status of persons in NZ on a case by case basis. The New Zealand Police do not issue visas therefore all immigration enquiries should be directed to Immigration New Zealand and not the Otahuhu Police Station.