A group of suspected card skimmers from Bulgaria have been prevented from entering New Zealand.
Nine people were taken aside at Kuala Lumpur airport yesterday as they were preparing to board a flight to Auckland.
Two of them were stopped from boarding due to previous credit card offences in Mexico, and one of their partners also stayed behind.
The rest of the group carried on to Auckland, but refused to be interviewed by immigration officials when they arrived.
"Given the significant suspicions that we had about these six, we denied them entry to New Zealand and they returned to Kuala Lumpur," Head of Immigration Steve Stuart said.
"This was a classic example of a highly suspicious bunch being stopped either before or at the border, preventing them committing criminal activity in New Zealand."
Earlier this week four Canadian nationals appeared in court in Auckland after more than 100 people had their eftpos card details skimmed.
Mario Rivera, Sina Chea, Kevin Roberto Flores Roldan and William Alexander Rivera Rivas were arrested at the weekend.
They face charges including participating in a criminal group and intent to obtain pecuniary advantage dishonestly. They will reappear in court on April 30.
Security expert Bill Farmer told TV One's Breakfast earlier this week that New Zealand is a soft target for card skimmers.
"New Zealand has good transactional security, with chip and pin, but anything that is stored on a computer is potentially at risk of being scammed," he said.
Farmer said the first thing merchants should do is become compliant with a standard called PCI DSS, developed in 2004, which supports materials and tools to enhance credit card security.
All merchants must be compliant with the standard by 2015.