Immigration lawyer takes corruption complaint to police
By Lincoln Tan
4:00 AM Friday Jun 11, 2010

A Tauranga lawyer has taken his complaint of corruption at Immigration New Zealand's New Delhi office to the Indian police after the agency closed its investigation into an earlier complaint.

Vinay Deobhakta, a barrister specialising in immigration advocacy, alleges that an India-based travel agent was "splitting commissions" with Indian officials working for Immigration New Zealand.

He complained last year that agency officials in New Delhi were demanding bribes to process visas.

Mr Deobhakta has requested the Wellington CIB also re-opens its investigation into his earlier complaint. While trying to get a group of 47 Indians into New Zealand last year, Mr Deobhakta alleged that an immigration officer had demanded a $282,000 bribe to process their visas.

He was told by an Auckland woman, who claimed to have a relative in Immigration's New Delhi office, that the visa applications would fail unless he paid the officer $6000 per person.

Mr Deobhakta had made a secret recording of a conversation he had with the woman which he provided to Immigration New Zealand, and now to the Indian police.

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