Dutton: Good Riddance to Fake ‘Prince’ as Fraudster Deported

By AAP
March 1, 2020 Updated: March 1, 2020

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton says “good riddance” to the fake Tahitian prince Joel Morehu-Barlow who was deported to New Zealand for stealing AU$16 million ($10.44 million) from Queensland Health.

Morehu-Barlow, now 44, re-directed money meant for a charity into his accounts and was sentenced to 14 years’ jail.

Television footage showed Morehu-Barlow born Joseph Hohepa Morehu-Barlow flanked by Australian Border Force officers being escorted to an airport where he was put on a Qantas plane bound for Auckland after being released on Thursday.

It’s believed he’s now living with his mother in Auckland.

Dutton had little sympathy for the former Queensland Health middle manager who siphoned millions between October 2007 and December 2011.

“Good riddance to that false pretender,” Dutton told media on Friday.

“If you are going to commit offences in his country, while you are here as a guest, expect to have your visa cancelled.

“Ninety-nine per cent of people do the right thing. In the most egregious cases, they can expect to have their visa cancelled and be deported.”

Morehu-Barlow lived a lavish lifestyle with the stolen funds that included the purchase of an exclusive waterfront apartment in inner Brisbane.

He even had the initials HRH (His Royal Highness) on a black American Express credit card he used at a chic Brisbane nightclub Cloudland where he drank top of the range champagne and tipped waiters AU$1000 ($652.50), according to former staff members.

His cash-splashing habits were so outlandish that one Fortitude Valley businessman described it to AAP as a “Clayton’s” economic stimulus (the economic stimulus you’re having while not having an economic stimulus) package for Brisbane’s restaurants, pubs, and retailers.

His reign as a free-spending ”royal” was brought undone in December 2011 when he attempted to siphon off AU$11 million ($7.18 million) in a single transaction. He’d previously taken about AU$5 million ($3.26 million.)

When police searched his residence, they found hundreds of luxury items including a life-size horse lamp, saddle, a Chanel watch and a Louis Vuitton surfboard, which were seized and sold at auction.

Overall, about AU$11.9 million ($7.76 million) was recovered from the sale of items, including the apartment.

By Robyn Wuth and Darren Cartwright