A husband and wife's alleged attempt to bring nine Malaysian women into New Zealand has been stopped by Immigration New Zealand (INZ).
An INZ spokesman says the group, intercepted on Friday, is the single largest group to be denied boarding a New Zealand bound flight.
The husband and wife were intercepted in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday after being red flagged for alleged involvement in other people smuggling operations outside New Zealand.
INZ border operations manager Karen Urwin says the nine women were allegedly coming to New Zealand for a week-long tour of the South Island but could not give a proper explanation of their plans.
However, they did not have enough money to fund the trip, they didn't know each other's names, didn't know where they were staying or who paid for their flights.
"As a result all nine passengers were denied boarding to Christchurch as we doubted their intentions," Ms Urwin said in a statement.
Last week an alleged people smuggler was nabbed at Auckland Airport escorting three Chinese people travelling on fake passports to South America.
INZ staff were alerted to the group of four when an officer noticed the accents of three of them did not match their Malaysian passports and names.After being questioned, three of the group admitted to being from China and holding fake Malaysian passports.
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