Malaysia Airlines has been fined $5,500 in the Manukau District Court for failing to comply with its obligations under the Immigration Act 2009.
The offence related to a Malaysian national who boarded a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Auckland in January this year. The airlines’ check-in attendant allowed the passenger to board the flight despite a directive from Immigration New Zealand not to board the passenger.
INZ General Manager Peter Elms says airlines have a responsibility to meet their obligations under the Act to maintain the integrity of New Zealand’s immigration system and border security.
“Our border systems are designed to prevent people who are ineligible for entry to New Zealand from being allowed to board aircraft offshore. On receiving passenger information at check-in we provide the airline with a directive on whether they can allow the passenger to board or not. In this case, on receiving the directive not to board the passenger, the check-in attendant entered an altered passport number, allowing our systems to be circumvented.”
“Immigration New Zealand takes this type of offending very seriously. Airlines play an important role in assisting border agencies to keep our borders secure. Any failure to adhere to their legal obligations can have serious consequences, which is reflected in the maximum penalty for this offence – a fine of $50,000,” he says.
Malaysia Airlines was prosecuted in April 2007 for similar offending.