21 June 2011

Fraudulent passport holders in Queensland charged by Australian immigration

A joint law enforcement investigation conducted by the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in Queensland has uncovered a 25-year-old case of passport fraud and resulted in three people being arrested.

Australian immigration

An investigation conducted by DIAC and the AFP has uncovered a 25-year-old case of passport fraud.

The accused individuals are a 66-year-old American man, a 67-year-old Danish woman and a 42-year-old American woman. The American man and Danish woman were arrested yesterday and appeared in Townsville Magistrates Court yesterday, while the American woman was arrested on 15 June and was bailed to appear in Mackay Magistrates Court on 4 July.

It will be alleged in court that the three persons used fraudulently obtained United States passports to pass through Australian immigration and enter the country in 1986.

Manager Crime Operations Peter Sykora said the investigation was an example of the AFP’s commitment to combating identity crime, including passport fraud.

“The AFP has Identity Security Strike Teams dedicated to the investigation of identity related crime, including the compromise of personal information and the production of false or forged identity documents,” Commander Sykora said.

“The focus of the teams, which include officers from the AFP, DIAC, the Australian Crime Commission, state police and the Roads and Traffic Authority, is on investigating serious and complex identity security matters and forming a collaborative network among law enforcement agencies to effectively deal with this emerging crime type.”

A DIAC spokesperson also commented on the incident:

“DIAC is committed to ensuring the lawful entry and residence of people to Australia and has a policy of taking action against people who enter Australia under fraudulent circumstances or fail to declare their criminal history in an attempt to remain in Australia and gain Australian citizenship,” the spokesperson said.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Australia visa application with the Australian High Commission

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