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Otimi to spend 18 months in jail

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 29, 2011) – Immigration New Zealand says the sentencing of an Auckland man over an immigration scam sends a strong message.

Gerard Otimi was sentenced at the Manukau District Court today to 18 months in jail after being convicted of 38 charges of altering a document with intent to cause loss.

He was also ordered to pay over 10-thousand US dollars in reparations to his victims.

Under the scam, overstayers, who were mostly Pacific people, paid Otimi over 430 US dollars each for a stamp and a certificate that he said allowed them to be part of his hapu, or sub-tribe, and to stay in New Zealand.

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