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Jail sentence and guilty plea for migration fraud

Tuesday, 08 October 2013

A warning has been issued today to people involved in migration and visa fraud, with two significant court outcomes, according to Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash.

An Albanian national was sentenced to 14 months’ jail in Melbourne while a former registered migration agent is facing up to 10 years’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to multiple fraud offences in Sydney.

‘Today’s court outcomes show that the penalties for fraudulently obtaining visas or permanent residence in Australia are not worth the risk,’ Senator Cash said. ‘The Department of Immigration and Border Protection takes allegations of migration fraud very seriously and the department and the courts will act against those who attempt to defraud our migration programs.’

Albanian national Jani Vata and his spouse, Vjollce Marashi, faced charges in Melbourne Magistrates Court for using multiple false identities in applications for Australian visas, passports and citizenship. Jani Vata was sentenced to 14 months’ jail.

Meanwhile, former Chinatown-based registered migration agent Xiao Ying Wu (Amy Wu) pleaded guilty to multiple fraud offences at the Sydney Downing Centre District Court, including the use of forged departmental correspondence and deceiving former clients who were seeking assistance with their visa applications.

Affected clients claimed Wu dishonestly obtained more than $80 000 in return for visa application services that were never delivered. She will be sentenced at a later date.

‘Migration agents in Australia are required by law to be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA),’ the minister added.

Clients wishing to find out whether an individual is registered as a migration agent can do so by visiting the Office of the MARA’s website.
See: www.mara.gov.au

Source: Senator Michaelia Cash, Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women: http://www.minister.immi.gov.au/media/mc/2013/mc208542.htm