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‘Steak and passport’ crooks jailed for immigration crimes | Immigration Matters

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The UK Border Agency (UKBA) reports that on 12 September 2 men were jailed for a total of 13 years in prison for facilitating the illegal entry of migrants into the UK.

The two crooks smuggled real foreign ID cards, passports, driving licences and bank statements, into the UK in packages of meat!

Like a immigration ‘dating‘ agency, Artur Rakovskij and Rafal Wolanski had a portfolio of pictures which they would match to a person requiring entry to the UK before sending the necessary travel and identity documentation to him or her prior to travel.

The illegal immigrants were charged up to €5000 for the service.

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) investigation found that they ran their operation out of Rakovskij’s home in Northolt, but kept the illegal documents in safety deposit boxes in London. A surveillance team observed Rakovskij entering a safety deposit company, removing a package and posting it to Italy.

Law enforcement officers intercepted the package, which contained Lithuanian passports and ID cards, Polish ID cards and driving licences.

Rakovskij and Wolanski were arrested in February 2012 and a search of Wolanski’s car revealed two joints of meat containing 29 original Polish and Lithuanian ID cards and passports. Further searches of Rakovskij’s home found approximately 700 original Polish, Lithuanian, Latvian, Italian and Russian passports, ID cards and driving licences.

A number of false UK and European immigration stamps, numerous credit cards all in different names and various other false official documents were also recovered.

SOCA officers, during follow-up searches of 2 safety deposit boxes, seized £10,000 cash and a further 300 passports, birth certificates, ID cards, national insurance cards and further false immigration stamps.

The investigation was in partnership with UKBA officers.

Brendan Foreman, SOCA said:

‘This criminal organisation facilitated large-scale immigration crime with the potential to generate huge illegal profits.

‘The investigation has highlighted once again the determination of organised criminals to innovate in a bid to evade law enforcement bodies, and to profit from causing harm to UK communities. These individuals were thwarted, however, and their imprisonment should serve as a warning to anyone tempted to involve themselves in this type of unlawful activity.

‘The cooperation of UK Border Agency was vital in bringing the investigation to a successful conclusion.’ Source: UKBA.

See also:

Bulgarian family of nine target UK and get council house and benefits in 3 weeks, but is this the norm?

How Romanians and Bulgarians working illegally without Yellow Card or papers can legalise their status in the UK

France relax tax penalties for Bulgarian and Romanian workers

European Commission warning to UK on Free Movement rights and Comprehensive Sickness Insurance remains unanswered

New Government funded courses available for Bulgarian and Romanian EU students

Are Romanians and Eastern European migrants victims of racism in the UK?

If you need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Tier 2, Tier 4, applying for university if your college has closed down, Visa, ILR, Settlement, Citizenship, Dependant Visa or an appeal against a UK Border Agency or British Embassy refusal, or if you have been waiting for a reply from the Home Office for longer than a year, please email: or visit for free immigration news updates.

Majestic College offer special packages for EU students. They also have a number of employers looking for staff right now and are willing to employ Bulgarians and Romanians.

For more information call Joanna on 0208 207 1020 or email

Overseas students and workers can qualify for a tax refund 

You could qualify for a tax refund if you are an overseas student, work permit holder, Tier 1, Yellow or Blue Card holder – in fact any visa type – even if you are no longer legal or even in the UK!


It doesn’t matter where you come from – UK, Europe or anywhere else in the world, it is important to ensure that your qualifications are recognised. In the UK there is a national agency that carries out this service, they are called UK NARIC.

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