Nigella needs special permission while fraudsters can walk right in

Something’s not right here. ?Claire Trevett reports

Nigella Lawson needs special permission to visit New Zealand, but the “Wolf of Wall Street” will be eligible for a visa when he comes next month, despite having been jailed for fraud.

Last week it was revealed that British television cook Lawson had to get a special dispensation to visit New Zealand next month because she had been refused entry to the United States after publicly admitting using cocaine and marijuana.

She will be ineligible for a visa to New Zealand for the rest of her life, despite having no convictions.

However, no such dispensation is needed for Jordan Belfort on his visit to speak at investment seminars. A spokesman said Mr Belfort was yet to apply for a visa, but he was eligible because his sentence was less than five years and the conviction was more than 10 years ago. Only those sentenced to more than five years are ineligible for a visa for life.

There is such a legal bias towards drug related charges in the law. ?There are people in the US imprisoned for life for marijuana possession. ?But ripping off people from their hard earned money? ?Meh. ?

Mr Belfort’s memoirs prompted?The Wolf of Wall Street?movie, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Mr Belfort was charged in 1998 with securities fraud and money laundering and served 22 months in prison after investors lost about $200 million. Investors are still chasing the full $110 million he was ordered to pay in restitution.

Although the restriction on some people with convictions expires after 10 years, the same does not apply to those refused entry to another country so Lawson will require special permission any time she wishes to visit in future.

Of course, we all know about New Zealand’s relaxed attitude towards letting in convicted fraudsters. ?The jolly German from Coatesville is perpetrating possibly the biggest fraud on New Zealand ever devised: ?starting a political party with the sole purpose of trying to get an immigration minister in place that will veto the inevitable extradition to the USA.


– NZ Herald