AN “unruly tourist” Brit accused of fraud, assault and dangerous driving has fled New Zealand on someone else’s passport.
James Nolan, 26, wanted in connection with a roofing scam, manged to sneak through Customs using an eGate, customs officials said.
The system identified further checks were needed on the passport and Nolan’s image was sent to a Customs officer – who incorrectly identified him as the real owner of the passport.
Nolan was arrested along with William Donohue, 25, and Tommy Ward, 26, were arrested in Wellington on Wednesday over an alleged roofing scam.
Last month Auckland resident Heidrun Leonard, 82, claimed she paid a group of men $8,000 to fix his roof but they fled with the money.
Nolan had previously been accused of driving his car at a young woman attempting to film him and his extended family as they left beer bottles, plastic, rubbish and clothes on a public beach.
He was also charged with reckless driving and fraud but was released on bail.
Nolan went on the run after he was charged with assaulting the woman and failed to appear in court for the second time on February 7.
A video alleged to be of Nolan and the Doran family, a group of Irish travellers connected to caravan sites across the Midlands, became infamous around the world.
The group caused carnage across New Zealand after allegedly refusing to pay for meals, damaging their apartment and stealing a journalist’s phone.
Auckland Phil Goff called the group “trash” and “leeches”, comments which the Nolans threatened to sue him for.
Another member of the family, Tina Marie Cash, was convicted of theft from a petrol station in Auckland.
Four members of the family were given 28-day deportation notices by immigration before they returned to the UK last month.
The tourists’ behaviour became so well-known among locals that a 10,000 strong petition was started demanding “Deport the unruly tourists”.
Customs Minister Kris Faafoi blamed “human error” for the passport fiasco and said the incident was a “very rare” occurrence.
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In a statement released last night, the department said Nolan had “deliberately circumvented border controls by using a valid passport that was not his own”.
They told the New Zealand Herald: “Unfortunately, that was a case of human error, which shouldn’t have occurred.
“Staff are being reminded of the importance of visual checks and validating the identity of all travellers.”
The group allegedly defrauded elderly people out of thousands. Pictured is Tommy Ward who was also arrested[/caption]
The group are onnected to the British traveller family who terrorised New Zealand locals. They left a pile of rubbish as they fled the beach[/caption]
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