National Australia Bank’s Hunt For Indians

National Australia Bank's hunt for Indians

Craig Binnie
Herald Sun
November 22, 2007 12:00am

MORE than 200 Indians who may have fraudulently secured residency through a scheme that allegedly defrauded the National Australia Bank may be deported.

The alleged scam was uncovered after the bank found discrepancies in loans issued by a now-suspended manager.

The Australian Federal Police has been called in to investigate as the bank tries to recoup $22.7 million it fears may be lost.

Documents lodged in the Federal Court allege ex-Moorabbin East business banking centre manager Akshay Batra admitted to the bank he provided 227 $100,000 loans to Indians so they could get a general skilled migration visa.

The Indians allegedly used the loans to buy government-issued bonds, which, until recent changes, earned them five points towards the 100 that were required to get the visa.

Documents filed in court alleged investigators had found an absence of written applications for the loans, loans were issued to unregistered companies and correspondence was returned marked “addressee not known”.

The bank told the court it was looking for the Indians and would offer them free legal advice in the hope that they would confirm that the $100,000 of bonds they each owned belonged to the bank.

A spokesman for Immigration and Citizenship Minister Kevin Andrews said the Indians could face criminal prosecution and deportation.

Mr Batra is believed to be living in India.

The case will return to court on November 27.