‘Fake migration agent arrested’

‘A 30-year-old Australian woman was arrested on arrival at Sydney Airport [on 24 January], after an [ABF] and [AFP] investigation into migration fraud’

The Australian Border Force’s website contains the following announcement:

A 30-year-old Australian woman was arrested on arrival at Sydney Airport yesterday (24 January), after an Australian Border Force (ABF) and Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigation into migration fraud.

She is the second person to be charged as part of an ongoing investigation into a highly sophisticated organised crime syndicate, which began late last year.

On 20 December 2018, ABF and AFP investigators executed warrants at a commercial premises in Auburn, where they allegedly found dozens of fraudulently obtained Medicare cards and credit cards.

On 21 December 2018, a 32-year-old Chinese national was arrested and charged by the AFP with 10 offences under the Migration Act 1958.

ABF Regional Investigations NSW Superintendent Garry Low said the ABF takes migration fraud seriously and will prosecute those who think they can undermine the integrity of Australia’s migration systems.

“Only registered migration agents can legally give advice on migration law. It is a serious offence to offer someone assistance with migration matters if you are not a registered migration agent,” he said.

“To ensure they avoid being taken advantage of, anyone who is looking for advice on migrating to Australia needs to ensure that when seeking assistance, they find a registered migration agent.”

Investigators will allege the 30-year-old woman had helped a number of foreign citizens fraudulently obtain visas to enter Australia, while operating illegally as a migration agent.

She has been charged with several Migration Act offences and faced Sydney Central Local Court today (25 January 2019). She will next appear in the same court on 26 March 2019.

Investigations are ongoing and further arrests have not been ruled out.

More information about registered migration agents is available on the Office of Migration Agents Registration Authority website: www.mara.gov.au

People with information about suspected migration fraud should contact Border Watch at Australia.gov.au/borderwatch. By reporting suspicious activities, you help protect Australia’s border. Information can be provided anonymously.

Disclaimer: the above is a mere reproduction of a website. The views there expressed might not reflect the views of the Department, the AAT or the courts. The law or policies might have changed between the writing and reading of this article. The author of this article and Migration Law Updates disclaim any liability for any action (or omission) on their part based on any information provided (or not provided) in this article and are under no obligation to keep the general public nor practitioners informed about the matters discussed in this article or any other matters, or any future changes to any of those matters. It is the responsibility of each practitioner to obtain access to primary sources of law and policy by themselves and to carry out their own research and come to their own conclusions on legislation, case law, policies and more. This article is not intended for the general public.

Sergio Zanotti Stagliorio is a Registered Migration Agent (MARN 1461003). He is the owner of Target Migration in Sydney. He can be reached at sergio@targetmigration.com.au

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