10 Feb 2011

New Zealand businessman admits scam involving Fiji workers

5:23 pm on 10 February 2011

A New Zealand businessman has admitted a role in an immigration scam, which reportedly left workers from Fiji foraging for food.

Michael Neil Molan was accused of creating false documents when applying for work permits for workers comuing to New Zealand from Fiji in 2009.

He pleaded guilty in the Hamilton District Court to one charge of forgery and one of misleading an immigration officer.

Molan originally faced 23 charges.

Immigration New Zealand says there were fake job offers and forging of signatures, and the agency was duped in some cases.

Stacy Watson, who employed farm workers from Molan's company, says she was told the men were foraging for food.

She says one of her workers had no money for toilet paper.

"That's when we found out there wasn't any money anywhere and that it was all gone. So we had some tears with him and just gave him the money. That's just the human thing to do and nobody should treat any person like that, ever."

Stacey Watson.