Information RELEASED UNDER THE OFFICIAL INFORMATION ACT by IMMIGRATION NZ this day exposes the extent of the abuse of EDUCATION LOANS option by Hyderabad based agencies. The information details several bank managers and their involvement and then also lists 57 agencies (in the factsheet towards the end). The document also lists agencies from North India including a few ENZRA agents (though indicating only 1-2 cases to have slipped through their hands) to have submitted such forged education loan disbursal letters. It is possible that 1-2 such documents may slip through the system and it is also possible that the agent is not involved in this fraud even if the lodged application is through them. However, if the instances are repeated and if there is a trend, it is a major area of concern. Thus the factsheet lists about 8 agencies with significant number of cases. I note that the investigations is ongoing in all the previously lodged applications of all agents.
Education Loans are used by 80% of Indian students desiring to study overseas and it will be unfair to generalise the observations from Hyderabad across India. The modus operandi followed in the information released indicates:
THE FRAUD TACTIC
The tactic used by all involved agents was to obtain a genuine education loan sanction letter from a bank (which passed verification), then after visa approval-in-principal (AIP) to submit a fraudulent education loan disbursal letter ostensibly from the same bank. Funds from another (hidden) source would then be transferred to NZ to pay tuition fees. It is likely that these sources wound not have been acceptable had they been presented because they did not link to the evidence previously verified as genuine, and as claimed for the intended use in NZ.
Read the full details in the documents attached in this blog.
Wednesday, 22 June 2016, 9:21 am
Press Release: New Zealand Labour Party I
MP for Palmerston North
22 June 2016
15 corrupt bank managers identified in student fraud
New information show 15 bank managers in India have been identified by Immigration New Zealand as presenting fraudulent documents on behalf of foreign students studying here, Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says.
“Documents obtained by Labour under the Official Information Act show bank managers doctored genuine information which was then used by education agents to prove students had the funds to pay for their New Zealand tuition (see INZ No Surprises Factsheet attached).
“This fraud is so widespread, Immigration NZ officials say “there has been no agent we’ve looked at that hasn’t been using it, to some extent or another’ (see INZ Fraud Penetration Email attached). There are more than 1000 education agents operating in India.
“The Government was warned in 2012 that New Zealand’s international education sector was rife with rorts. Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce and Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse continue to turn a blind eye to this fraud because the sector is so lucrative.
“These documents confirm hundreds – possibly thousands – of students have arrived in New Zealand with these fraudulent papers.
“These people are desperate for a New Zealand education to better the lives of their families back in India. They are vulnerable and being preyed on by unscrupulous education agents and bank managers who are making money out of them.
“Now hundreds of students here face mass deportation if they can’t prove they have the money they claimed to have on their original study applications.
“The Government must take urgent action to protect these students from being exploited and protect New Zealand’s international reputation as a fair and honest country,” Iain Lees-Galloway says.
The above media release states that “This fraud is so widespread, Immigration NZ officials say “there has been no agent we’ve looked at that hasn’t been using it, to some extent or another’ (see INZ Fraud Penetration Email attached). I read this to refer to the agents under investigation and from the Hyderabad region and not referring to all agents in India.
Information RELEASED UNDER THE OFFICIAL INFORMATION ACT can be found on links below: