21 May 2012

Businessman 'never saw citizenship application'

10:43 pm on 21 May 2012

A wealthy Chinese businessman accused of immigration fraud never saw his citizenship application before it was submitted as it was filled out by another person, a court has been told.

Yan Yong Ming, who is also known as Bill Liu and Yang Liu, is facing five charges of fraud including lying to gain citizenship.

The charges relate to applications made by Mr Yan for visitor and residency visas in 2002 and citizenship in 2005.

In his closing statement on Monday, defence lawyer David Jones, QC, told the Auckland High Court that Mr Yan was used to paying others to carry out administration for him, including filling out various immigration forms.

He said Mr Yan was not aware of the contents of the application form for his citizenship, as he could not read or speak English.

The Crown told the court that Mr Yan must have been involved in his visa and citizenship applications as he had travelled extensively and acquired temporary visas for the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

Earlier on Monday, evidence was given by a former Labour Party member who said he was paid $10,000 by the accused to help him apply for citizenship.

Shane Phillips, also known at Shane Te Pou, said he agreed to do this after meeting Mr Yan at a Labour Party event in 2005, where the accused introduced himself as Bill.

Mr Phillips said he had no experience in assisting others with citizenship applications and used information given by Mr Yan and his partner for the information required to fill out the form.

He said he wrote "not applicable" in Mr Yan's citizenship application where it asked if he was known by any other name.