Bivek Nath Mishra agreed to obtain services of a company for a visa sponsorship for $60,000 before discovering its owner was facing fraud charges.
New South Wales Civil & Administrative Tribunal has come to the rescue of an Indian migrant who had paid a Sydney migration firm $31,000 for a visa sponsorship and wanted out after discovering the firm owner was facing multiple charges of fraud.
Bivek Nath Mishra signed a contract with Goldman Pintex Management for a visa sponsorship for $60,000 after failing to secure a job. Mr Mishra who has a Masters degree in professional accounting said he went to the agency after he saw ads on Gumtree and Facebook, promising visa sponsorships.
After Mr Mishra signed the contract on 1 June and paid a total of $31,000 of the $60,000 in three installments for “migration visa assistance services” for a visa sponsorship in a regional area, he came to know that the firm Goldman Pintex belonged to Eddie Kang, a man facing multiple criminal charges pertaining to immigration fraud.
“A friend told me that it was Eddie Kang's company and when I checked the internet, I found out he has cases of fraud against him and that’s when I decided I wanted out,” Mr Mishra told SBS Punjabi. He says the company did not reveal to him that Eddie Kang was associated with Goldman Pintex and he wouldn’t have proceeded with the contract if he knew about this.
Mr Mishra says he dipped into his wife’s savings who works as a cleaner in Sydney and borrowed from friends to pay for his visa sponsorship.
He says he approached the NCAT after the company refused to refund his money. The company told the tribunal that Mr Mishra did not comply with the terms and conditions of the contract and hence wasn’t entitled to a refund.
Last week, the Consumer and Commercial division of the NCAT found that the contract was unfair and that the terms were not explained to Mr Mishra. The tribunal also found that the employees at the firm did not disclose its connection to Mr Kang who controls it and faces criminal charges, before signing the contract.
“The Tribunal accepts the evidence of the applicant that if that information (Mr Kang's connection with the company) had been disclosed to him by the respondent's employees he [Mr Mishra] would have declined to enter into the Contract,” Senior Member David Charles said in a written order.
The Tribunal ordered Goldman Pintex to refund an amount of $31,000 to Mr Mishra on or before 26th September, failing which an enforcement action could be taken by a Local or District Court.
SBS Punjabi has contacted Goldman Pintex for a comment.