19 Mar 2013

18 Tongans found to have fraudulently obtained Australian visas

8:22 am on 19 March 2013

An Australian immigration inquiry has found that 18 criminals from Tonga have fraudulently obtained Australian visas.

Police in Tonga are under investigation after it was found that some officers had effectively wiped clean the criminal slate of 172 convicted Tongans, thereby enabling them to apply for work and residency visas overseas.

Australian immigration officials have found 18 such people holding permanent or temporary visas for Australia.

A Department spokeswoman says three of those visas have been cancelled.