Bluesky Travel Agency is set to be taken to court in New Zealand’s High Court after it said a man from Queensland who claimed he travelled to Europe for a month in a fake “tourist visa” in 2015 had travelled through a different country.
Key points:The company claims the man had a “fraudulently obtained” tourist visaHe claims he was told he would spend months in the US and had to leave for another country, but the US Embassy denied he had a valid tourist visaThere are now reports he was detained in Australia on a bogus tourist visa Bluesky claims it “has not been established” whether he actually entered New ZealandThe man, from Brisbane, told a court last week he was living in the United States on a tourist visa when he travelled for three months to Europe in July 2015.
The man claims he arrived in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Denmark and Switzerland and was told to spend months there before he was returned to Australia in March this year.
He said he spent a total of $14,000 on accommodation and meals, and was denied entry to New Zealand for the next two months before being allowed back in, where he spent another six months.
Bluesky claimed the man’s claims of travel to Europe were a “conspiracy theory” and he was only in New York and the UK on tourist visas, not a genuine “traveller” visa.
He told the court he had “no documentation to back up his claims” and had “not checked the validity of the travel visa”.
He also said he was not given any further information about the man before he left Australia.
The case is due to be heard in the High Court in Auckland on March 20.
A spokeswoman for the High Commission in New South Wales said she was unable to comment.
She said the High Commissioner had referred the matter to the Department of Immigration.
In a statement, Bluesky said it was “confident” it was the first time a business had faced such a charge in Australia, but that it “is unlikely” it would be successful.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy on fraudulent claims of any kind, including for any type of tourist visa, and we are confident that we have never been in a situation where a business was required to pay an amount for a fraudulent claim made by an individual,” the statement said.
Blueski said it had been forced to “put in place additional processes” to try and avoid a repeat of the incident.
The statement said it would not be commenting further until the case was decided.
ABC/ReutersTopics:law-crime-and-justice,immigration,travel-and,fraud-and‑accusations,international-law,foreign-affairs,new-zealandFirst posted March 26, 2019 09:58:56Contact John AtkinsonMore stories from New Zealand