Home Office organised immigration crime investigators arrest British Filipino who is alleged to have scammed dozens of Filipino students in a massive Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa fraud.
Members of a joint UK Borders Agency (UKBA) and police task force made two arrests in Manchester Monday as part of a major investigation into a suspected visa scam, according to a report by Balita Pinoy this week.
A British Filipino woman living in Manchester was arrested on suspicion of assisting unlawful immigration and fraud by false representation and taken into police custody following the raids.
The Bangladeshi man was arrested on suspicion of assisting unlawful immigration.
The arrests followed an operation by the UK Border Agency’s Criminal and Financial Investigation team, a specialist unit of police officers seconded from the Metropolitan Police working alongside warranted UKBA officers to investigate organised immigration crime.
Two suspects were released on bail until April 22 while enquiries continue.
Balita Pinoy said:
“A complicated web of deceit is alleged to have been utilized to cheat scores of Filipinos, as well as an unknown number of people of other nationalities, out of thousands of pounds”.
The visa fraud was created after major changes to UK Immigration Rules laws preventing non-EU foreign student visa holders from applying for post study work and Tier 2 working visas to remain in Britain.
The changes, which hit students from outside the EU, has enabled heartless fraudsters to dupe the naive and desperate into believing they were eligible for either highly skilled or Entrepreneur Visas under Tier 1 of the points based system.
The victims were allegedly charged between £4,000 and £8,000 for a non-existent service and crude fraud.
The investigation started because of complaints by victims to lawyers, immigration advisors and others. The UKBA and police were also alerted because of specific complaints from at least two law firms that discovered their websites or their company names had been copied.
The fake law firms offering “immigration” services had been getting visa applicants and charging them high fees and not providing the services.
In one case, a firm of lawyers with two offices, one in Manchester and one in Oldham, had been contacted by a relative of a man in immigration detention as well as by a charity representing a woman in a similar position. In both cases £4,000 had either been paid or was being demanded to enable release by the fake “Lloyds” of the people from detention by the UKBA. When the real Lloyds Law were contacted, at first they were bemused but then quickly realised a scam was in progress.
In the other case, a law firm with three offices in Yorkshire were being contacted by potential clients of another fake law firm, “Simmonds & Parker”. In this case the website of the real law firm had been copied even down to the phone numbers of the Yorkshire based law firm being left in place. Source: Balita Pinoy.
Immigration fraud cases are usually referred by the police to the OISC to investigate and prosecute. But it seems that when Solicitors are affected the police take direct action.
Immigration Matters had heard rumours about this scam and advised people to steer clear of what was at best a ‘questionable’ scheme where applicants clearly did not meet the requirements.
Submitting a fraudulent application is a criminal offence which carries a prison sentence.
If you have been scammed and your visa has now expired, you should seek professional and confidential immigration advice before you get picked up and removed.
Many overstayers are afraid to come forward and talk to an adviser, but proper immigration advisers and lawyers treat everything in strict confidence, so you be safe in the knowledge that they will do their best to help you legalise your stay in the UK, but are not under obligation not report you to the authorities.
Even overstayers who had been hiding for years using false names and documents have been able to gain Indefinite Leave to Remain and British passports for their children.
If you have been detained, 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:
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