After a major immigration scam involving Filipino dairy workers was uncovered in New Zealand, up to 1,200 of them may have entered the country illegally.
The suspected ringleader who is a well-known in the Waikato Filipino community has been detained and brought to court for allegedly taking thousands of dollars in exchange for fraudulent applications.
Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse says there is a large-scale problem, with potentially more than 1000 workers here illegally. About 70 per cent of the 1,700 Filipino farm workers in New Zealand may have been involved in the scam.
Each applicant would pay thousands of dollars to the alleged scam brain who would then submit fake information about New Zealand employer details and work experience to get a visa.
Filipino workers are crucial in the dairy industries of Canterbury and Southland, filling a share milker shortage. 3News said “it is peak milking time right now, which means there could be an amnesty for the workers caught out.”