Restaurant manager asked for cash to fake residency papers, court told

The Department of Immigration is investigating the owner of two Indian restaurants in western Sydney over claims he repeatedly accepted large payments to falsify documents for migrant workers seeking permanent residency.In an unfair dismissal case before Fair Work Australia, a former chef at the Tribeni and Kashi Indian restaurants, Nandalcumaran Krishnakanth, claimed his employer, Saai Bose Pty Ltd, had asked staff to pay between $1300 and $12,000 for help in gaining permanent residency.In return for the money the company’s director at the time, Arun Bose, would fill out fake skills certificates showing that the staff had completed the 900 hours of work experience needed to apply for permanent residency, the commission was told.Mr Krishnakanth said Mr Bose also asked for money to provide glowing work references to assist in the application process.”Mr Bose would say, ‘Pay me $1300 and I’ll give you the certificate that you worked as a chef and performed certain duties’,” Mr Krishnakanth told the tribunal.The certificate would be provided whether the person had worked for the restaurant or not, he said.The commission was also shown an extract of Mr Bose’s time and wages record in which four months of records appeared to have been filled out at the same time.The commissioner, deputy president Peter Sams, said the entries were ”most suspicious” and appeared to have been back-dated.Mr Bose denied the allegations, stating that nothing was falsified and all legal requirements were met during his time as director.He sold the company last year and it is now in liquidation.”There was one 457 [visa] employee who claimed unfair dismissal,” Mr Bose said. ”He was making stories.”Fair Work Australia has referred the matter to the Department of Immigration, which has mobilised staff from a number of different units to investigate. The investigation will also include allegations that staff were underpaid and denied some entitlements.”These are allegations which the department takes very seriously,” a spokeswoman said. ”In the case of alleged criminal activity we would bring any allegations we find through the appropriate courts.”The department revealed it had already been investigating Saai Bose’s involvement in the operation of the 457 visa program. Issues under review included the payment of superannuation and providing sufficient time for learning and development.This month a former student of the now-defunct Sydney International College of Business was found guilty on two counts of supplying false documents and sentenced to 200 hours community service.A migration agent, Maher Itani, said that rorting of the system was common until the laws were tightened recently.”People just find a restaurant, give them a few bucks and get a certificate,” said Mr Itani, who owns the migration agency Access Australia.
Nanjing Night Net