Enhanced integrity measures for India, Pak immigrants to Australia

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Melbourne, Jan 27 (ANI): Australia's Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) is applying enhanced integrity measures to applicants from India, Mauritius, Nepal, Brazil, Zimbabwe and Pakistan in order to check infiltration related fraud.

The infiltration of Australia's 16 billion dollars foreign education sector by organised crime has been exposed in a confidential report to the DIAC showing nearly 40 per cent of detected fraud involving student visas last year was aimed at universities.

Earlier, the problem was thought to be confined mainly to the private vocational educational sector, with private colleges and language schools being the preferred target of people-smuggling operations.

But the report to the DIAC by consultants Ernst and Young shows universities and vocational colleges are increasingly being exploited to place bogus students, The Australian reports.

The Ernst and Young report showed that in the 10 months to April last year, higher education accounted for 39 per cent of student visas refused where fraud was involved. But it was higher in the 12 months to June, where higher education accounted for more than half - 53 per cent - of such cases.

"The majority of fraud risks stem from higher education and vocational education and training," the report found.

It said Australian immigration and education officers in diplomatic posts had to work with foreign governments' law enforcement agencies regarding increased levels of organised fraud.

The revelations will concern university leaders, who have blamed most student migration fraud on less rigorously regulated private colleges and institutes. (ANI)

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