Melbourne: Asians on temporary visas in Melbourne have been warned to be wary of a conman who is estimated to have stolen over USD 2 million for fraudulent migration claims.
It has been found that nearly 100 Thai, Vietnamese, and Cambodian nationals on either student or temporary working visas have paid an average of USD 25,000 to an African man known as ``John``.
He claims to be selling either permanent residency in Australia or refugee protection visas, the Age reports.
Some illegal migrants have also paid money to the man, who works in a factory in Altona, posing as a registered migration agent or government official from the department of immigration and citizenship.
He is linked to a shopfront finance company that offers personal loans to the Asian community, using ``agents`` from various ethnic groups to attract customers, the paper said.
Victims said the man also rented a house in Springvale, which he used as a makeshift office, but that money for the fake migration claims was often handed over in public places such as Southern Cross Station or a Springvale supermarket.
A lawyer has warned that the victims risk losing their temporary or student visa status and could face detention or deportation because fraudulent claims had been submitted in their names.