24 May 2013
Woman sentenced to home detention for immigration scam in Tongan community
A woman, who took advantage of vulnerable people in an immigration scam, has been sentenced to community detention,
community work and ordered to repay her victims.
Khadijah Lolohea (also known as Khadijah Piu) appeared at Auckland District Court yesterday (23 May 2013) after
admitting nine counts of providing immigration advice without a licence in February 2013.
A multi-agency investigation, led by the Immigration Advisers Authority, found the 38-year-old from Mt Roskill, Auckland
had amassed more than $6,000 from 13 migrants.
Authority Registrar, Barry Smedts, commended the victims for coming forward. Many were in the country unlawfully and had
to trust that the Immigration Advisers Authority was separate from Immigration New Zealand and had no powers to deport
He said: “It took a great deal of courage for people to come to us. Sadly, this is not the first time migrants have been
taken in by unlicensed people. The reality is there are several places to go for reliable immigration advice: licensed
immigration advisers, lawyers and Citizens Advice Bureaux. We have a complete list in our Tongan translated Immigration
Advice Consumer Guide”
Her defence counsel said Ms Lolohea suffered from a mental illness, expressed remorse and had not excessively profited
from the crimes.
In sentencing, Judge Singh told Ms Lolohea: “It is clear to me that each one of your victims has suffered considerably
as a result of your offending. They have parted with money or goods. They have suffered mental stress and it has also
caused family disruption for each of them. Some of them still have families abroad. They have suffered financial loss
and have understandably been very angry with your offending. Some of them also have physical medical conditions which
make them very vulnerable. In fact, the victims have generally been ripped off especially when they were most vulnerable
expecting to come to this country.”
Ms Lolohea was sentenced to six months community detention and 150 hours of community work. Reparation had already been
paid to one victim and the Judge ordered that reparation be paid to her other victims.
Anyone wishing to order copies of the Immigration Advice Consumer Guide available in Tongan, Samoan, Chinese or English
can contact the Immigration Advisers Authority free from New Zealand on 0508 422 422 or by emailing email@example.com.
Anyone wishing to discuss their immigration situation can contact Immigration New Zealand on 09 914 4100. Those that do
not speak English can ask for a translator.
Notes to editor
The Immigration Advisers Authority was set up in May 2008 to regulate immigration advice both nationally and
It is responsible for:
of immigration advisers.
• receiving complaints
about licensed and unlicensed immigration advisers.
• investigating people giving immigration advice without a licence.
• maintaining an online register
of licensed immigration advisers.
Under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007
only those people who are licensed or exempt are able to give immigration advice about New Zealand. A person who
provides immigration advice without being licensed or exempt commits an offence.