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Woman sent to prison for immigration fraud

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/06/2017

A woman who tried to fraudulently bring a child into New Zealand has been sentenced to prison for providing false documents to immigration officials.

Kiwi permanent resident Haiyan Luo, who is 46 and originally from China, was sentenced in the Waitakere District Court on Tuesday to 26 months' imprisonment.

She pleaded guilty to 17 charges of providing false or misleading information to an immigration officer.

She was also sentenced to 19 months on matters relating to tax evasion, bringing her total sentence to 3 years 9 months in jail.

Ms Luo, who obtained residence in 2000, married a Chinese national in 2008 and sponsored him for New Zealand residency.

Then in 2012, she and her husband requested Immigration New Zealand add a child, they said had been born to them in China, to the man's residency application.

But the baby's identity documents submitted to immigration officials and those relating to Ms Luo's medical care and delivery of the baby were flagged as a concern by the department's Hong Kong office.

Subsequent enquiries revealed the child was not actually Ms Lou's biological child and nor had she legally adopted it in China, Immigration New Zealand manager compliance and investigations Alistair Murray says.

"This type of offending using immigration processes to try and fraudulently bring a child into New Zealand, and indeed any type of fraudulent behaviour, will not be tolerated by Immigration New Zealand," he said.

"Today's sentence is a strong deterrent."

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