A bogus immigration advisor, who masterminded a large-scale plot to dupe the Home Office into doling out residency permits to a string of unqualified applicants, has been jailed for seven years, The Daily Mail reports.
So successful was the scam – run from a South London one-bedroom flat – many of the clients, mostly from Sierra Leone, went onto legally obtain leave to remain in the U.K. and eventual full citizenship.
Jobless Sierra Leone refugee Winston Kabia, 45, of New Cross created at least thirty companies while on the dole, which provided fake references and payslips to his clients.
The father-of-six was convicted by a Croydon Crown Court jury on seventeen counts of conspiracy to defraud the Home Office; two counts of giving unauthorised immigration advice and possessing twenty-three genuine identity documents.
Kabia was never properly registered with the Offices of the Immigration Services Commissioner while advising clients at the EU-funded South Thames African Welfare Association.
He helped non-EU immigrants obtain residency permits via marriage to non-UK EU citizens, who had to prove to the Home Office they were employed in this country.
‘It seems he must have been at the heart of the conspiracy,’ Judge Nicholas Ainley said.
‘You were taking money from people trying to get into this country and settle illegally,’ he told the ex-human rights student. ‘There was to be a pretence those people were working for companies you set up.
‘Wage slips that were bogus were provided and entirely false applications were made,’ added the judge. ‘You posed as a lawyer and had a solicitor’s certificate hanging on your wall.’
The prosecution will pursue confiscation proceedings, which include unexplained sums of £42,000 and £26,000 paid into Kabia’s bank account while he was claiming benefits.
Prosecutor Miss Alexandra Felix had told the jury: ‘In each case the payslip and employment letter is from a company associated with this defendant.
‘Those companies, according to HM Revenue and Customs, have no employees.’
An Inland Revenue probe revealed Kabia’s self-assessment form claimed he received no income between 2002 and 2004, but P.A.Y.E records proved he was paid a total of £39,000.
From 2004 onwards Kabia has claimed jobseekers allowance.
‘The Crown says this defendant held himself out as someone permitted to provide immigration advice when he was not authorised to do so,” added Miss Felix.
‘He aided those not entitled to be in the UK to stay here.
‘The fraud that was perpetrated was to obtain a residency permit. They were given a permit obtained fraudulently and were not entitled to be here.
‘The fact the fraud was successful is demonstrated by the fact that many applicants became lawful naturalised citizens.’
Police raided Kabia’s flat in July 2008, December 2008 and January 2010, seizing evidence from a small office.
Kabia received full British citizenship in June 2004 and describes himself as a ‘social entrepreneur.’ Source: Daily Mail.
Only OISC registered immigration advisers (Solicitors and Barristers are regulated by different bodies) are authorised to give immigration advice in the UK.
Hundreds of migrants are duped each year by bogus advisers who are basically committing fraud by taking money from vulnerable people under false pretences.
If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email:
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 email@example.com
You could qualify for a tax refund if you are an overseas student, work permit holder, Tier 1, Yellow or Blue Card – in fact any visa type – even if you are no longer legal or have left the UK!