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Sunday, June 20, 2004

NZ immigration officials embarrased - (United Press International)

NZ immigration officials embarrased - (United Press International)

NZ immigration officials embarrased
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Jun. 19 (UPI) -- An Iranian who has overstayed his welcome in New Zealand has eluded immigration officers for 18 months, even though he keeps popping up on television.

The Wellington Dominion Post reported Saturday he has frustrated the Immigration Service so much that the government has put up wanted posters for him.

Saied Ghanbari, 32, is the most embarrassing of the estimated 20,000 overstayers eluding the service's frustrated officers.

The service has wanted to deport him for 18 months after his claim for refugee status was turned down. But the officers have his cell phone number, they don't have his address.

The Immigration Service has drawn the ridicule of New Zealand First leader Winston Peters last week after Ghanbari appeared twice on television, once in a live link up with Immigration Minister Paul Swain.

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