PETALING JAYA - The Australian Government has warned Malaysians not to be fooled by claims that their visas can be purchased, particularly in Kuala Lumpur.
Australian High Commissioner Miles Kupa said there has been a rise in the number of scams or fraudaulent schemes advertising such claims.
"We warn people to be very cautious regarding claims concerning Australian visas that are allegedly for sale. These claims are not true. Australian visas are not for sale. Visas can only be obtained through official channels," he said in a statement yesterday.
Kupa was responding to a press report last month that said that human traffickers are selling passports and visas to Australia for up to A$15,000 (S$16,800) in a move that allowed asylum-seekers to bypass the often perilous boat journeys to the country.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation secretly filmed meetings in Malaysia between an Iraqi national called Abu Tarek and potential customers, where the former was captured in the act of offering to provide the documents.
Kupa said Australia, which shares close ties with Malaysia, welcomed genuine visitors and migrants, and advised the public to go through reputable channels when seeking their visas.
He also urged the public with information about scams in relation to Australian visas to inform the High Commission by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information on proper processes to obtain Australian visas in Malaysia can be found at www.vfsglobal.com/australia/malaysia or www.malaysia.highcommission.gov.au.