Yes, Israeli art scammers should be booted out of the country.
But so should a raft of other rogues and ratbags, most notably including Somalis with an urge to run amok.
A band of Israelis faces deportation after being rounded up while selling artwork door-to-door.
Immigration New Zealand says one, an overstayer, has been taken into custody pending deportation, five found to be working in breach of their visitor visas have been served with deportation liability notices and a seventh, due to leave New Zealand voluntarily, has been warned about working in breach of visa conditions.
Richmond resident Rebekah Young is being credited with exposing the scam. You can check out why she became suspicious in the Stuff report cited above.
In the upshot, she went on to her computer and googled “art scam” and found similar stories in Auckland, Napier and Christchurch so she rang the police.
The scammers were not charged but the police contacted Immigration NZ.
Immigration NZ manager fraud and compliance, Peter Elms, said INZ staff and police visited a Nelson address on Monday and spoke to seven Israeli nationals.
“INZ understands that the artwork being sold door to door is pictures purchased from China for a small sum and sold for between $150 and $400 each.”
As crimes go, Alf can’t get too excited about this. If householders want to pay a few hundred bucks for a painting that cost the vendors bugger all in China, so be it.
But if anyone should try to rip off Kiwis with cheap paintings from the Orient, it should be fellow Kiwis. The Israelis accordingly deserve to be given the heave-ho.
The latest incident involving a crazed Somali feller is a different matter.
Stuff paints a grim picture of how an ordinary weekday morning in suburban Christchurch became a scene of violence and bloodshed as a knife-wielding man went on a rampage before being shot by police.
Two people were stabbed – a delivery driver, who was taken hostage by the man in her truck yesterday morning, and a Christchurch City Council worker, who was in a serious but stable condition in Christchurch Hospital last night.
The food delivery driver, Marteine Robin, 36, was last night recovering at home after a stab wound in her shoulder was stitched.
The attacker’s 90-minute path of violence across the city was ended by two gunshots as he continued to approach police in Hoon Hay, where he had confronted morning commuters and stabbed the council worker.
villain alleged villain in this case was a 27-year-old bloke who came here from Somalia.
He had surgery for gunshot wounds to his wrist and shoulder and was under police guard in hospital last night.
He has yet to be charged.
The Stuff report gives a good account of how the drama started at Redwood School in northern Christchurch about 6.30am, when the school caretaker was threatened with a knife after finding a man on the school grounds.
Police said the caretaker and a teacher locked themselves in a classroom, and the man tried to gain entry.
The man fled the scene, kidnapping Robin, an employee of Goodtime Foods, who was delivering pies to the school.
There’s lots more to this tale of carnage which culminated in the police arriving.
Assistant Commissioner Dave Cliff said that when police arrived they repeatedly asked the man to drop the knives.
“Officers Tasered the man and deployed pepper spray but this was not successful in stopping the man,” he said.
After the man rushed at police with the knife, officers armed with a Glock pistol fired two shots, hitting the man in the arm and shoulder, he said.
Alf notes with interest that Police ethnic liaison officers and refugee services met the Somali community yesterday afternoon.
To what purpose? The attack – so far as Alf can tell – had nothing to do with them.
What we do have is one bloke of Somalian origins who has run amok – oops, allegedly run amok – and allegedly done a great deal of harm to citizens of the country that has given him a new home.
Assuming the cops have shot the right bloke, and he is found guilty of whatever charges might be laid, and after he serves whatever sentence is deemed appropriate, he should be sent back to where he came from.
The same goes for the Somali woman who was convicted of trying to hijack a flight from Blenheim to Christchurch six years ago.
Actually, Alf had hoped she would have been shipped back to Somalia already.
But no, she popped up in the Appeal Court the other day to claim police told her she would be taken to the United States and shot if she did not admit to the hijacking.
That’s the sort of thing that belongs on a Tui billboard.
This time Alf refers his constituents to a New Zealand Herald report.
Asha Ali Abdille, then 36, was in August 2010 sentenced to nine years’ jail with a non-parole period of six years for trying to hijack the flight on February 8, 2008.
She had already been in custody for 2-1/2 years when sentenced and today told the Court of Appeal, through an interpreter, that she pleaded guilty after police pressure.
“… they said unless you say that I hijack plane, we will take you to America and you will be shot. Executed,” she said.
“I (did) not hijack the plane. The police asked me to say that.”
One fascinating thing about the Herald report is that Abdille represented herself after firing trial lawyer Elizabeth Bulger.
Ha. You’ve got to be on the seriously daft side on a 1-10 sanity scale to put your case to an august body like the Appeal Court without a lawyer.
Anyway, she claimed there was a conspiracy between Immigration and the police.
…she had come to New Zealand in 1994 believing the Government was “giving us a land and helping us”.
“But there was politics behind that and the Government wanted us to be mistresses for the white man,” Abdille said.
Young women were made to have babies they did not want, and Abdille claimed police persecuted her when she fought against it.
“I said we should all come together as a community … because I was against white men using us and having sex with us.
“I wanted (a) chance to explain, tell you that,” she told the Court of Appeal judges.
And the knives she happened to be carrying on the fateful flight?
These – she contended – were simply cutlery she was taking to her sister, who was trying to set up house in Christchurch.
She also had forks and plates, and the pilot had inspected her luggage, she said.
However, she claimed the pilot had kept looking at her and she saw in him a resemblance to a man who had used her as a “sexual slave”. She believed it to be that man, and that he was going to take her to an island and imprison her.
By now you don’t need to be told that Abdille has a background of mental health issues.
The sentencing judge had taken that into account when sentencing her.
There’s more in the Herald report about Adbille failing to take prescribed anti-psychotic medication and cancelling follow-up appointments with medical professionals and arguments about whether she could be effectively treated.
More fascinating is the news that –
Abdille had 27 previous convictions and was on bail for threatening to kill and possession of a weapon at the time of the hijacking.
She wasn’t kept securely locked up despite her track record?
That would have done the air crew a big favour, because –
The captain, first officer and a woman passenger were all cut during the incident; the captain had to have part of a thumb amputated and the first officer received a cut foot. One of the two had since given up flying.
Some passengers believed they were going to die during the incident, and did not want to give victim impact statements as they did not want to relive the incident.
The Court of Appeal judges reserved their decision.
Alf awaits it with great interest.