Construction firm boss found guilty of misleading Immigration NZ over work visa

February 4, 2019


A construction company director has lost his bid to have his name permanently suppressed over a false work visa.



HR Matters Tip:

You can only employe individuals who are a New Zealand Citizen, Permeant Resident or with a Valid Visa. Always scan a copy of employees right to work in New Zealand to avoid issues with Immigration New Zealand.


Hooi Keat Chai was found guilty on six charges, one relating to providing false and misleading information to immigration officials and five for presenting a fraudulent work visa.


He was acquitted of charges of changing his name to deceive authorities.

Chai, who is the sole director and shareholder of Team NZ Constructions, received interim name suppression after a District Court hearing in Auckland in October. 


He initially appealed losing name suppression in December but has since abandoned his bid.


A permanent resident, he will be sentenced in March.


Chai's case stemmed from Operation Spectrum, led by Immigration NZ last year to check the legitimacy of construction workers, after it found evidence of illegal Malaysian workers flowing into the country. 


Immigration carried out multiple raids and home searches to dismantle 10 tiling, painting, decorating and gib stopping labour supply companies smuggling workers to New Zealand under false identities. 


Fifty-four people were deported, 36 chose self-deportation, and 85 were stopped at the border.


Another 15 people with visas to live, but not work here, were served with deportation liability notices. 


In all, the operation stopped more than 190 people within a six month period from working illegally.


The other person to face prosecution from the operation was Adam Bin Gan Abdullah, who faced eight charges of immigration fraud in the Manukau District Court.


He had been deported from New Zealand, but returned under a new name and was granted residency.


He was given 10 months home detention.


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