Press Release – Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment
A Djibouti couple who obtained residence in New Zealand by providing fraudulent information to Immigration New Zealand now face possible deportation.
Halimo Mouhoumed Warsama and her husband Ali Daher Houssein have each been sentenced at the Auckland District Court to nine months home detention and 150 hours community work.
The couple came to New Zealand in 2002 on visitor visas. Houssein departed New Zealand after only four days, but Warsama stayed on and later applied for and was granted residence under a false name, and went on to sponsor a residence application by her husband, who also used a false name.
Immigration New Zealand’s Fraud and Compliance Manager Peter Elms says fraud undermines the integrity of New Zealand’s immigration system and Immigration will take action against those who seek to cheat the system, regardless of how much time has passed since the offending.
“Inevitably people who rely on concocting false backgrounds and relationships will be found out. It’s just a matter of when,” Mr Elms says.
“While identity fraud is an ongoing issue, the means of detecting it are continually improving and there have been significant developments in our identity management capabilities since the time of Warsama and Houssein’s offending.”
Improved identity management is one of the key changes introduced in the Immigration Act 2009. INZ is now able to capture, store and use biometric data, including fingerprints.
Since the Act came into force in late 2010 INZ has begun using biometric technology. This includes fingerprinting asylum claimants and people referred at the border and checking these fingerprints with international partners (Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada), deploying high-tech passport scanners and collecting facial biometric data.
Biometrics will start to be captured in all immigration visa application checks when the roll-out of INZ’s new Immigration Global Management System begins later this year.