Over 50 potential immigrants were found to have paid in some cases over $100,000 for fake companies to sponsor them in a failed attempt to obtain skilled work visas.
A Queensland resident will be appearing before the Brisbane Magistrate’s Court on June 7 2019, facing seven charges of submitting false information and documentation to the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), following a joint investigation carried out by the Australian Border Force (ABF) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
The accused is also alleged to have engaged with complicit Registered Migration Agents to lodge the applications with the DHA, sponsoring an individual for positions in companies which did not exist.
Australian Border Force (ABF) Commander Graeme Grosse said that the investigation has been ongoing since in 2017 and that the ABF “will not tolerate attempts to engage in fraudulent activity”, vowing to investigate all allegations of visa fraud.
The offence is punishable by up to a two-year prison sentence and/or fine of $75,600 per charge. More serious offences can result in up to 10 years in prison per offence.
“There is no place for unscrupulous operators that exploit visa programs for financial benefit and it is great to see the Department cracking down on this sort of behaviour. Australia’s sponsored worker programs are some of the best in the world and it is great to see the ABF and AFP working together to ensure that the few don’t spoil it for the many.”