Oz to tighten screws on corrupt migration agents

A TV channel exposes students being lured with false promises

 The “Four Corners” programme of ABC News reported on Monday night that hundreds of private colleges in Australia were offering courses such as hairdressing and cooking, luring Indian students with false promises of permanent residency. The channel, which conducted a sting operation, also claimed that a number of migration agents were offering “fake” work experience certificates to students.

An Indian journalist working undercover with ABC to expose the alleged scams was threatened and punched by an unidentified man over the weekend, an incident which has sparked an outrage in India.

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said the allegations of ripping off foreign students would be looked into by immigration and education authorities and dealt with “no tolerance”.
“On the migration front, when we were in the opposition we did express significant concerns about the regulation of migration agents, and as a consequence we’ve recently seen a migration regulatory authority come into existence to regulate that industry better,” Smith said. “But any of these abuses, of course, we won’t tolerate and don’t tolerate. And the cracking down, so far as the migration agents’ regulatory arrangements are concerned, will assist in that process,” he said.

The ABC said it has evidence that several agents were offering to help students cheat in English proficiency tests and provide fake experience certificates. The report also claimed Indian students aspiring to be pilots have been left in the lurch by a Sydney-based aviation college as their dreams of acquiring commercial pilot license remained unfulfilled even after paying thousands of dollars.

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