A criminal syndicate that provided unregistered Australian immigration advice has been shut down.
30 August 2011
Australian immigration shuts down unregistered migration advice syndicate
Following a police operation in Perth on 25 August, a criminal syndicate that provided unregistered Australian migration advice to foreign nationals has now been shut down.
The investigation comes as a reminder to anyone applying for an Australian visa to be sure that their migration agent is properly registered.
The incident was the conclusion of a 12-month multi-jurisdictional investigation that saw Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) officers working with the assistance of the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
The criminal syndicate's unregistered migration agents claimed to be able to arrange 'working visas' for non-citizens, with prosecutions for the accused now under consideration.
Speaking on the case, a DIAC spokesperson made the following comments:
“Organisers were charging exorbitant fees for unregistered migration assistance, and were also lodging visa applications which contained false information relating to claims for asylum.
“Over the past 12 months, DIAC has conducted a series of targeted operations in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia aimed at dismantling this syndicate.”
The operation follows the execution of warrants Sydney in July in which large numbers of visa applications were seized at the residence and office of the principal suspect of this investigation.
“If you are a migration agent you must be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority [Office of the MARA],” the spokesperson concluded.
The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Australian immigration application with the Australian High Commission.