Several south Auckland properties have been raided by police investigating an alleged immigration scam.
It is believed that thousands of Tongans have been affected by a scam, in which fraudsters took money from people in exchange for the promise of residency.
Over the last few weeks many of the victims have made complaints to the Immigration Advisors Authority as well as the police.
Officers have since raided properties belonging to Auckland-based Fetongi Malupo and Kolini Vaka - the alleged masterminds of the scam.
In June, Malupo told ONE News his intentions were just to help his community.
"I helped my people, that is the only purpose from it," he said.
Malupo said he only collected the money and passports and then gave them on to fellow Tongan Vaka.
An office was one of the three sites targeted from which police seized more than 150 Tongan passports.
Police are still looking for Kolini Vaka, who is currently in hiding.
The victims were targeted in New Zealand, and in Tonga, through Church and kava groups.
Scam victim, Mele Finau, told ONE News that, "I asked him [Malupo], can we have a receipt from the money you are taking for the passports and he said no we don't have a receipt here."
Finau lost possession of the passports in December after giving them to Malupo under the promise of gaining New Zealand residency.
Malupo has been allegedly selling fake New Zealand residencies for almost $300. It is unclear how many passports are still outstanding.
"If you don't have a visa from Immigration New Zealand, it's not a legitimate one and if it has been secured by paying money it's just a scam," says Alan Barry of Immigration New Zealand.
Ulu'alo Po'uhila, a publisher, said of the scam that, "To me it is quite alarming to see people doing those sorts of things to our own community."
Po'uhilia has uncovered other scams involving his community and says this one should be a wakeup call.
"It is sad because there were some of the leaders in the Tongan community, the church ministers and the stewards, they knew about this and yet no-one asked the right questions."
Immigration New Zealand is urging anyone affected by the scam to contact them.