Indians in NZ speak of immigration scam
The Economic Times
17 Jul, 2008, 1851 hrs IST, PTI
MELBOURNE : Three of the 39 Indians, who disappeared in New Zealand on their way to Australia, on Thursday claimed that they were victims of a human trafficking scam.
The three men met immigration authorities and provided vital information about the alleged scam, New Zealand Sikh Society spokesperson Daljit Singh said over phone from Auckland.
He, however, said the authorities did not want him to divulge details as it could spoil investigation into the matter.
Six officials from the fraud unit of New Zealand's Labour Department interviewed the three Indians, who were later allowed to go anywhere they wished on the condition that valid visa terms be followed, Singh said.
“It was a 90-minute-long meeting between the officials and three men,” Singh said.
“We are hopeful of convincing other (missing) Indians as well to come forward and reveal vital information that can help in investigation,” he said.
Singh said if required New Zealand officials may visit India to probe the matter.
The missing Indians were part of a wider group of over 200 people, who came to New Zealand on their way to the Pope's World Youth Day celebrations in Sydney.
However, the three men claimed they had no idea they were booked to attend the World Youth Day and that they paid an agent 17,000 dollars, believing that was the proper way to get into New Zealand, media reports said.