The Immigration and Citizenship Special Taskforce team has made a huge breakthrough by uncovering a syndicate involved in producing fake PNG visas.
Minister for Immigration and Border Security announced in a media statement.
Minister Nukundj said the Special Task Force team made the break after apprehending a female Australian national who was in possession of the fake PNG visa at the Jacksons International Airport.
The woman overstayed her tourist visa and to avoid apprehension collaborated with certain PNG nationals and obtained a PNG visa to exit the country but in the process paid for a fake visa produced illegally in NCD.
“The fake visa was detected by Immigration officers at Jacksons Airport and further checks uncovered that the serial number on the visa did not belong to her but was of an Australian. The writings on the visa labels appeared to be bogus using Microsoft word and did not correspond with the Border Management system record,” Minister Nukundj said in the media release.
She admitted to paying K5,000 to another PNG citizen who introduced her to a middle man who after three days produced and delivered her visa which she picked up at Gerehu bus stop.
The two nationals are now being detained at Boroko police station cell after being interrogated, formally arrested and charged while investigations continue.
“This is the first case of illegal visas produced on the streets. A similar case was detected in 2013 in Kathmandu, Nepal where a group of Napalese were promised jobs in Papua New Guinea and lured into paying huge sums of money to a certain group that produced fake PNG visas for them. These men were apprehended by Immigration officials at Jacksons and deported back to their country. However, this case is first of its kind which the Special Taskforce team has uncovered.”
Minister Nukundj said processing of fake visas is are a serious threat to border security and the Immigration and Taskforce team with police are vigorously working around the clock to pin down the members of this syndicate.
Names and identities of the PNG nationals behind this is known and investigations are continuing.
“The Marape-Steven Government stands firm with its decision to Take-Back PNG. How do we Take Back PNG, this is how we help our country by holding those fraudsters accountable for their actions? Prime Minister James Marape has already tasked us here at Immigration to get to the bottom of this we will stop. If investigations find out that immigration officers are involved, they will face the consequences of their actions”, said Minister Nukundj.