MEREDITH GRIFFTHS: But a New Zealand MP Phil Goff says the links are there [of Mossad involvement].
PHIL GOFF: It is I think very clear that this is part of the modus operandi of Mossad, that they gain their passports in this way.
MEREDITH GRIFFTHS: Mr Goff was the foreign minister in 2004 when one of New Zealand’s immigration officials noticed a passport applicant was speaking with a North American accent.
The police were notified and eventually a complex plot was uncovered where Israeli citizens were trying to steal the identity of a man with severe physical disabilities.
Phil Goff says it was clear from the circumstances that the plot was linked to an agency of the state of Israel.
PHIL GOFF: When the police apprehended two of the three culprits that came from Israel to get the passports there was an indirect contact from the Israeli Government wanting to hush the matter up.
We of course were not prepared to do that as a Labor government in New Zealand. We told them in no uncertain terms that people that came to our country, committed criminal acts against our law would be treated openly and before the courts in the same way as anybody else.
Indeed that is what happened to the two agents.
MEREDITH GRIFFTHS: New Zealand said that was not the sort of behaviour it expected from a supposedly friendly country and suspended diplomatic relations until Israel said sorry.
PHIL GOFF: They made the apology for the acts committed by quote unquote Israeli citizens. But apparently this was scarcely a genuine apology because having found New Zealand too tough a target they then turned their attention elsewhere and used the passports of other nationals.