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Join probe or face music: NZ to missing Indians

india Updated: Jul 21, 2008 01:06 IST
Jasdeep Singh Malhotra
Jasdeep Singh Malhotra
Hindustan Times
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Immigration authorities in New Zealand have issued an advisory to the 20 Indian pilgrims who have gone missing, most of them from Punjab, to join investigation by Tuesday or face legal action.

Two special teams have been constituted to inquire into the immigration racket. Immigration officials interviewed 15 Indian Catholic Christians on Saturday night, Auckland-based New Zealand Sikh Society spokesman Daljit Singh told Hindustan Times over the phone.

“Four of the 39 Indians, who disappeared in New Zealand en route to attend the Catholic Church’s week-long World Youth Day festivities in Sydney, will appear before officials. The immigration authorities have advised them to join investigations by Tuesday or their permits to stay in New Zealand will be revoked. Subsequently, legal action will be initiated. They, however, have permission to stay in New Zealand till August 5,” Singh added.

Meanwhile, the PTI reports that half of the 39 Indians who went "missing" from Auckland after arriving there on pretext of attending a catholic event in Sydney, have been traced while two others headed for home on Sunday after a two-week ordeal.

The authorities were determined to get to the bottom of the scam by zeroing in on who all were involved, who had profited and what the group’s plans were, he said. Two teams have been constituted. While one will go to India to access information about travel agents involved in this case, the other will head investigations in New Zealand.

New Zealand Sikh Society president Manpreet Singh said three Indians interviewed by immigration officials said they had been duped of Rs 5 lakh on the pretext of getting permanent residency in New Zealand.