Immigration closes in on alleged Melbourne marriage scheme scam

Documents and computer equipment were seized yesterday in an immigration operation targeting the business address of a well-known Melbourne migration agent linked to an alleged fake marriage and contrived relationship scam.

Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) investigators executed the search warrant following extensive investigation into the agent’s activities, and will now forensically examine the seized materials.

“It would be premature to say whether charges will be laid as a result of this operation,” a DIAC spokesman said. “The department takes allegations of immigration fraud very seriously. Any activities that undermine the integrity of Australia’s visa regime will not be tolerated by authorities.”

The operation was part of an ongoing investigation into allegations a Melbourne-based migration agent was involved in a scheme to arrange fraudulent partner visas for Vietnamese nationals.

The department estimates hundreds of visa applications may have been lodged on the basis of fake marriages and contrived relationships.

“It’s too early to speculate on the outcome of spouse visa applications that have been lodged, but all visa applications connected to this operation face significant scrutiny,” the spokesman said.

“The department welcomes any information from the community about immigration and citizenship offences and fraud.”

Source: DIAC