This may be the most blatant visa fraud – a secretly recorded meeting showing a couple from Auckland who donates $ 5,000 in cash in a banking bag and receives the documentation they need to apply for a work visa in return.
The couple who are afraid to exchange secretly record their meeting with restaurateurs Janesh Kharbanda and Bhavna Kapila Bhatia.
They say they paid money in exchange for a job and – more importantly – to secure the support of Kharbanda and Bhatia for their application for a stay in New Zealand.
The video records that he agrees to pay a total of $ 20,000 and a portion of labor-related tax, while Kharbanda, an eminent Indian businessman, has been rewarded for his charity work and has links to data on the National Party and the Labor Party, promising: "I will fix this. "
How our immigration system looks like
He denies all abuses, claiming that payments were for the purchase of a franchise of his Indian restaurant.
Things"The Big Scam" revealed a series of immigration frauds in which desperate migrants pay for false jobs or jobs in which they are forced to pay most of their earnings to employers.
This is the most glaring example: the exchange of cash for work was stopped in front of the camera in the former Kharbanda house in Pokeno. The couple donates $ 5,000 and in return receive a signed employment contract for his wife to work as a manager assistant in one of the two Indian Kharbandy restaurants in Waikato.
In the video (which Things professionally translated from Punjabi), Kharbanda says he will pay the minimum wage and tax for 32 hours of work, but the wife must pay tax within eight hours.
KHARBANDA: "Do not worry, I will fix everything, including the necessary visa for your husband."
HUSBAND: "You pay us to a bank account in accordance with the rules, and we will pay you money in accordance with our internal arrangements." "We will work with you, sir!"
The husband says he will pay $ 5,000, then $ 10,000, when the wife's visa is approved, and then another $ 5,000 for a three-year work visa.
HUSBAND: "By then, $ 20,000 will be in your pocket, and you're asking for a total of $ 30,000."
Bhatia: "Yes, it's a matter of mutual understanding, you have to settle here and we have to act in our business, so let's do it, and meanwhile we'll all be working hard."
Wife says they will not have more money anymore.
WIFE: "Please, do not break our trust."
KHARBANDA: "We have a reputation in society, your permanent residence in your hands."
The title of the manager assistant will meet the NZ immigration threshold to allow the wife to change her work visa and ultimately apply for a stay in NZ.
But she says she withdrew her application to the INZ after she discovered that Dhaba restaurant at the Highway restaurant at Mercer Harbor on State Highway 1 was closed during the entire waiting time for a visa to work.
She asked for a refund, but Kharbanda initially refused, and then admitted that he had no money.
"When I knew it [was closed] it changed my mind, I thought it was bad for me and could get into trouble in the future, so I decided to pull my briefcase away, "says my wife. They say you are withdrawing the file, so it's not our fault. "
Another woman, Anishka (not her real name), claims to have applied for a job at Dhaba on the highway. She had the necessary skills visa as a chef and she worked for take-out, but she wanted to move to a restaurant to qualify for a residency.
He says that Kharbanda offered her a job, but he said he expects him to pay him back and keep him only $ 300 a week. Anishka says she witnessed another employee receive $ 300 in cash for a week's work and tried to convince her to stop.
Anishka rejected the contract and withdrew her application for a change in the work visa. She says the whole experience cost her about $ 1,000. "I was not happy [that he] he did not pay other taxes and wages properly. I did not want to work somewhere where the rules were not properly followed. "
Both women say that Kharbanda asked them to work in cash, waiting for approval of their visas.
Kharbanda denies this. He also denies Anishka's question of pay, saying she invented the story because she is a friend of her wife. Asked about the exchange in which her husband determines the contract, Kharbanda says: "I have no idea what she said." The tax claim shows that he pays only the hours specified in the contract, and if the wife wants to work more, "it's your choice".
"I NEVER DID"
Suspect in his restaurant Hamilton, Kharbanda is adamant that he did nothing wrong. "I've never done anything illegal, everything is fine, it's just a chance." He is aware of the history of breaking the law by employers, but he claims that this is not one of these matters. "The concept in the human mind is that employers are wrong, employers are not always wrong."
Although there is no mention of the word "franchise" in the recording, Kharbanda maintains that the discussion concerned a franchise agreement in which the couple paid $ 25,000 for Mercer's activity, and then 10% of the Kharband's profits. Kharbanda says it will be his first franchise agreement, but he wants to expand his business, which he calls "the first Indian concept restaurant in New Zealand".
Kharbanda says he has already informed the woman about immigration; however, he did not deliver Things with a privacy waiver to discuss this claim with Immigration. She says she has "written evidence" that the woman paid for the franchise, and then she withdrew from the contract and claimed $ 50,000 in damages. A text message from his wife to Bhatia, translated from Punjabi, reads in part: "If you play with me, you will end up paying 50,000 instead of 5000. I have proof of everything, make him not smart. He told me that he is going to complain me, but remember that I can close the business and I mean.
The wife claims she wanted to complain to the authorities, and Kharbanda will be fined.
While he is a friend from the beginning, he offers Things food reporters, Kharbanda later serves us with a notification of the violation, and in an email threatens him, "he can publish on social media, that you are blackmailing people to take money from innocent people".
He said he would be able to pay off the pair in mid-November after selling the property in India; later e-mails to say that they will refund them $ 100 per week. In the next e-mail he says that he paid the initial installment ($ 500) and says: "We started paying, so all matters are over."
It took some time to get a refund. First the husband asked. Again, Kharbanda said it was a franchise fee. Then he said he would repay them, writing: "I will be back soon, arrange, have patience." Then he asked him to stop sending messages, saying he would pay him off soon, but "if you can not wait, I can not do much."
Then he tried a couple's friend – a New Zealand citizen born in India, Ravinder Singh. "I have already reported this to immigration and explained the whole story to them," Kharbanda wrote, again claiming that it was a franchise fee. "Stop all this nonsense, I've never refused to return the money, I said they'll be back soon."
Bizarrely, he claims that Work and Income would help in refunding, and after a few messages he refused further correspondence, writing: "Now I am stressed with these texts …"
Ravinder encouraged the couple to express themselves and share their story.
"My intention is to save … people from my community." I do not want people to ask for bribes, "he said.
"So many Indians [being exploited] I do not want to tell their stories because they are scared. Some of them are excessively prolonged, some suffer. [I can help] because I am a citizen. "
Ravinder says that talking about franchising is "bulls …". His friends have a work visa, so they could not buy a franchise, no franchise agreement, and no existing Dhaba on a franchise road.
The wife also denies this claim. Things has a copy of his signed employment contract, dated May 24, 2018, for the post of managing assistant. Her bank statements ANZ show a cash withdrawal of $ 5,000 on the same day. "He offered me a job as a manager assistant, without any mention of a franchise," says the wife.
Kharbanda says that his "only mistake" was signing a contract of employment by the wife, not a franchise agreement. He says he showed her the contract on his laptop, but his printer was broken and he would not meet again to sign it. Later, he gives us an unsigned franchise agreement that is clearly similar to the general agreement found online.
"I DO NOT WANT TO BE A PART"
According to his profile on Facebook, Kharbanda claims to have worked as a key Account Manager for an export company for baby foods Fernbaby, field manager at Oporto's chicken branch, studying MBA, and studying business management at the University of Lincoln. He is also the sole director and shareholder of the company called LifeCorp, which seems to sell cleaning and insurance services.
The report on his website says that Kharbanda is "a man who has won my reputation exceptionally and easily [sic] and admiration! Honest and honest man. A man who can sympathize and has a soft heart. A man who will do what he says he will do.
Kharbanda is also a trustee – next to the candidate of the Labor Party of botany Tofik Mamedov – the International Life charity fund, whose goals include "providing guidance" to immigrants and "promoting health awareness and hygiene of all people".
In 2015, the Trust organized a competition of "best best chefs" for immigrants aged over 55, with the participation of a jury consisting of the mayor of Auckland Phil Goff and MP Paramjeet Parmar.
Mamedov said he was "shocked, surprised and angry" on charges and gave up trust. He said he has no idea about it. "It's a serious charge and I do not want to take part in it, I do not want to take part in that trust in which he is."
The picture on Facebook shows Kharband with former Prime Minister John Key, while the founder of the former Labor Party candidate and Crime Prevention Group, Sunny Kaushal, wrote on Facebook on the Kharband website: "Thank you Janesh bhai, really admire your spirit and the wonderful work you do for other people and be blessed. "
Kaushal said Things he considered the charges "shocking" and did not have "sympathy" for the Kharbanda. "There is no excuse … everyone who exploits immigrants should be responsible for their misdemeanors."
It is said about Kharband's claim that the exchange was a cash payment for a franchise agreement Kaushal said: "Of course, if there is such a business association, a contract must be signed, it is very clear."
Kaushal said he did not see Kharband face-to-face in a "long time".
The Mercer Restaurant in Kharband is closed, but its second branch in Fairfield, Hamilton, remains open. However, the company whose only shareholder and shareholder is Kharbanda is late by submitting the annual financial report, and the note on the website of the Companies Office warns that if the refund is not submitted immediately, it can be deleted.
The revelations of seemingly cheeky exchange come less than a week after the Malkiat Singh immigration adviser said he was so disappointed with the possibility of Immigration in New Zealand to ease punishments for fraud, for which he would no longer encourage clients to report them, saying that the system was "custody of cheaters".
In a statement, the immigration manager in New Zealand, Jock Gilray, said the department was aware of "visa fraud". Gilray saw the movie, but for privacy reasons he could not comment on these people. However, he warned: "We strongly encourage migrants not to make such fraudulent arrangements, they are not legal and most often they cause bad results for migrants and their families.
"Exploitation and visa programs" are not welcome in New Zealand and it is unacceptable for people to take part in such behavior. We encourage everyone who has information about this type of fraud to be forwarded by INZ or labor inspectorate. "