Department of Immigration and Citizenship Investigation Leads to Melbourne Couple Being Convicted of Passport Fraud
Melbourne, VIC, Australia (News4us.com) February 28, 2011
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) today welcomed the conviction of a Melbourne couple who used their passports to facilitate the illegal entry into Australia of three Iraqi citizens.
Zena and Sievan Gharib were found guilty in the Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court of providing another person with their Australian travel documents, with the intent they would use them to enter the country illegally.
Mr Gharib was sentenced to seven months’ imprisonment to be served in the community, as well as ordered to pay a bond of $5000, while Mrs Gharib was fined $7500.
“Passport fraud is a serious offence,” a departmental spokesman said.
“These recent convictions should serve as a reminder to the community that DIAC and the courts will act swiftly against those who attempt to assist the illegal entry of non-citizens into Australia.”
Mr and Mrs Gharib were charged in 2010 with providing their travel documents to Iraqi nationals, allowing them to enter Australia when not entitled to do so.
During sentencing, the magistrate commented on the high standard of work undertaken by Immigration’s investigators compiling and presenting the evidence that ultimately led to the convictions.
“Part of the success of this case is due to the strong relationship between our department and other agencies including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Australian Federal Police and Melbourne Airport,” the spokesman said.
“The department extends its thanks and congratulations to all those involved in the investigation,” he added.
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