Hundreds of Indian students 'implicated in fake work reference scam in Oz'
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Hundreds of Indian students are paying criminals to get fake work references in a bid to gain Australian residency in a racket worth millions of dollars, a report has revealed.
The scam involving restaurant and small business owners has been described by officials as an 'an organised and lucrative criminal enterprise', which undermines the skilled migration program.
The scam has been exposed in more than a dozen rulings by the Migration Review Tribunal, which has cancelled the temporary and permanent residency of many students, who paid up to 3,500 dollars to get fake documents.
The students bought references saying that they had 900 hours of unpaid work experience in jobs such as cooks, bakers, mechanics and hairdressers, telegraph.com.au reports.
The tribunal, which has heard 15 cases of students fighting the fraud allegations in the past year, noted that many Indian migration agents touted baking and cookery courses as 'a fast track to permanent residence'.
According to the report, five trainees, who used fake documents showing they had worked as cooks or pastry chefs, ended up working in Australia as taxi drivers or security guards.
The key man involved in the scam, Carmine Amarante, worked at training college Della International in Melbourne.
He has been jailed for three years for the two-million-dollar scam, but he is not the only one abusing the immigration laws.
The Immigration Department has been cancelling visas since uncovering the five-year scam, but declined to comment further.
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