Israelis facing deportation from New Zealand

March 15, 2012 by J-Wire Staff
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Six young Israelis are to be deported from New Zealand following the discovery of a racket in which they were selling cheap Chinese paintings at inflated prices.


One customer became suspicious when she discovered that an “exclusive” painting she had bought was offered to her neighbours and alerted police.

Police caught the Israelis  when they called on another house in the New Zealand town of Richmond.

Five of the Israelis were found to be working in breach of their visitors’ visas and another was taken into custody when police learned that his visa had expired. A seventh was scheduled to leave the county in the immediate future.

A member of Immigration New Zealand told media that he understood that the painting, bought very cheaply in China, were being sold  at prices between NZ$150 and NZ$400.

Although New Zealand has a working holiday visa arrangement with Israel, none of those picked up by authorities was bearing a student visa.

No charges have been laid.

A spokesperson for Immigration New Zealand told J-Wire: “None of the seven we have been dealing with are on student visas. They are all on visitor visas. One of the seven is in police custody pending deportation (ie, the arrangement of travel documents/travel etc) because the person was an overstayer beyond having appeal rights as below (though we do interview such people in terms of humanitarian circumstances prior to activating deportation). Five are subject to deportation (they have 28 days to appeal against deportation or can leave voluntarily). One was leaving anyhow, and was warned about breaching visa conditions.”

J-Wire asked I NZ if the scam was illegal. They replied: “Immigration’s interest in the matter relates to the immigration status of those involved (ie, working in breach of visa conditions). Whether it is illegal to sell door-to-door is not an immigration matter.”

They added: “It happens periodically – for example, we took action last year against Israeli and other nationals selling Dead Sea cosmetics in malls in various parts of the country in contravention of their visa conditions.”


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