Six months’ jail for identity fraud

A Vietnamese man was handed a six-month jail sentence in the Melbourne Magistrates Court today after he was prosecuted for using three false identities to apply for and obtain permanent residence and fraudulently obtain and use a genuine Australian passport.

A Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) spokesman said the sentence sent a strong warning to those engaging in migration-related fraud.

Van Son Nguyen, a convicted drug trafficker serving a seven-year sentence, was also convicted on charges s.234(1)(b) of the Migration Act 1958, s.10(1)(a) of the Passports Act 1938 and s.11 of the Statutory Declarations Act 1959.

DIAC’s facial comparison specialist identified that the photographs of Mao Lay, who had altered his date of birth, Saing Nguyen and Van Son Nguyen matched.

“The department continues to develop specialised capabilities in the areas of facial recognition, document examination and fingerprint analysis to assist with the investigation of fraud offences as well as maintaining the integrity of the migration program,” the spokesman said. “This includes the expansion of biometric collection points and sharing of data with partner countries and government agencies.

“These developments have led to several recent successful prosecutions against people found to have used false information, including identity details, as part of visa application processes.

“Over the past 12 months, eight individuals have been successfully prosecuted for offences relating to identity fraud used to subvert immigration channels. These cases have resulted in numerous convictions federal offences under the Migration Act, Criminal Code Act and Foreign Passports Act.”

Where DIAC becomes aware of fraud, the matters are fully investigated, resulting in both criminal and administrative penalties. A person who uses a false identity to obtain a visa and/or Australian citizenship will be considered for criminal investigation or revocation of citizenship. A person who provides incorrect information to the department in relation to a visa application may have his or her visa cancelled.

The department works closely with other government agencies, both federal and state, to assist in the identification and prosecution of these people.

Media Enquiries: National Communications 02 6264 2244

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