A young, female Indian journalist, who went underground to bring to light migration and education scandals in Australia involving defrauding overseas students including those from India, has been threatened and assaulted.
While the making of the program ‘Four Corners’, the woman, a reporter with ABC TV, was threatened and attacked over the weekend.
On its website, ABC said in an article that the reporter went to two different migrations agents posing as a customer wanting to pass muster in an English Language Test without having the skill and also said that she wanted to buy a fake work certificate.
According to information, by paying between USD 3, 000 and 5, 000, she was able to do both.
The assault on the journalism assumes significance in the light of a spate of racial attacks on Indian students in the Australian cities.
The report said that it was not clear whether the migration agents or the colleges identified in the ‘Four Corners’ program were behind either the threats or the attack.
“The program, to be aired tonight (local time), will reveal several cases where international students, especially those from India, have lost thousands of dollars,” the article said.
ABC quoted Pushpinder Kaur, mother of Prabmeet Singh who spent over USD 40,000 on a flying course, as saying that that the family was now broke and her son still has no pilot’s licence.
“It is a fraud. We were shown so many rosy pictures about the school and it is not what it is really, it was just a scam. I think the Government should be more alert in these type of matters because it is the career of the children which is at stake,” she said.
Many other Indian students have told the TV channel that the aviation college Aerospace Aviation has failed to deliver its promised 200 hours of flying time over 52 weeks.
However, Aerospace Aviation’s spokeswoman Sue Davis defended the training and questioned the level of commitment and dedication among the particular students.
Karl Konrad, an education and migration agent based in Sydney, said he has been aware of a black market in dodgy documents for years.
“I had many students come to my offices and say, ‘oh I can buy letters for USD 3,000 at particular restaurants’,” he said.
“They didn’t name the restaurants, but I was getting many of these type of stories. [So] we sent that information to the Immigration Department and they in turn thanked us for the information and said they would pass it on to Trades Recognition Australia. Nothing ever became of that,” he said.