4 Apr 2013

Six Tongans removed from New Zealand so far after revelation of wiped criminal records

2:43 pm on 4 April 2013

Six Tongans, who had been living in New Zealand, have been deported or have returned voluntarily to the Kingdom, after it was revealed their criminal records had been illegally wiped by police staff in Tonga.

Immigration New Zealand General Manager Peter Elms has told Matangi Tonga that they have so far discovered 13 individuals who have been in New Zealand illegally.

Seven hold temporary entry class visas, and one of these has been served with a deportation liability notice.

Mr Elms says the investigations are continuing.

He says immigration alerts have been placed on all those individuals on the list where there is sufficient certainty about their identity, in case they try to apply for another entry visa.

Immigration NZ had initially confirmed 52 Tongan nationals whose criminal records had been wiped had come to New Zealand.

They were on the list of 172 names provided by Tongan police.