12 Nov 2010

Warnings over unlicensed immigration advisors in Samoa

11:33 am on 12 November 2010

There's a warning in Samoa that only operators licensed by New Zealand Immigration are able to give advice on New Zealand immigration matters.

Our correspondent reports that while law against unlicensed advisors took effect three years ago, illegal operators persist and scams still occur.

In recent incidents one family lost over four thousand US dollars and another 26 hundred US dollars.

Barry Smedts, the Registrar of Immigration Advisors, told the Samoa Observer newspaper that any person, anywhere in the world, giving immigration advice about New Zealand must be licensed unless exempt.

The sole licensed advisor in Samoa, Roberta Tiatia, says the fradulent operators are heartless.

Offenders could be fined up to 77 thousand US dollars and jailed fopr up to seven years.