At least 50 immigrants paid a south-east Queensland man more than $100,000 in many cases for fake companies to sponsor them in their attempts to gain skilled worker visas.
Raids on two homes earlier this month in Logan, south of Brisbane, allegedly uncovered evidence, including visa application documents and electronic devices, supporting the allegations.
A man was expected to front Brisbane Magistrate’s Court on June 7 on seven charges of submitting false information to the Department of Home Affairs following the joint Australian Border Force and Australia Federal Police operation.
It will be alleged at least 50 potential applicants were charged significant amounts, in many cases well over $100,000, in exchange for visa sponsorship.
ABF investigations commander Graeme Grosse said the investigation launched in 2017.
“The ABF has been closely investigating this matter for some time. We believe that one individual has been arranging the submission of false visa nominations and applications for various skilled visas sub-classes,” he said.
“The ABF is alert to attempts to circumvent the integrity of Australia’s migration and visa system. We investigate all allegations of visa fraud, and actively monitor the visa grant process in order to detect improper conduct.
“We will not tolerate attempts to engage in fraudulent activity, and the Australian community can feel confident that we are doing everything possible to bring the full force of the law against anyone engaging in this type of unlawful activity and to maintain the integrity of the visa system.”
Two homes in Daisy Hill and Logan Village were raided on May 15 and the seized evidence was being closely examined ahead of more potential charges against other people.
The offense was punishable by a two-year prison sentence and/or a fine of $75,600 per charge.
If more serious charges were laid, they could attract up to 10 years in prison per offense.