Ten people have been arrested after a private Tier 4 sponsor college in Leeds was raided yesterday, with members of staff taken to various police stations on suspicion of immigration offences.
Immigration officers at the UK Border Agency’s Criminal and Financial Investigation Team arrested four suspects at the Tier 4 sponsor Leeds Professional College, Nelson House, George Mann Road, at 9am on Tuesday 4 December.
Officers carried out six further arrests at separate residential addresses in South and West Yorkshire. Those held include eight Pakistani men and a British man and woman.
The group were taken to police stations at various locations across West and South Yorkshire and Scotland for questioning.
Adrian Watkins, of the UK Border Agency’s criminal and financial investigation team, said the college is suspected of charging non-EU students – mostly from Pakistan – thousands of pounds for admission into the UK on Tier 4 student visas. Students then fail to turn up to classes and many work illegally or disappear into the system, he said.
Mr Watkins said: “The UK Border Agency criminal and financial investigation team have been carrying out a six-month investigation into Leeds Professional College which has culminated today in the arrest of a number of individuals today from the college.
“Today there should have been 138 students in class when we attended the premises. There were, in fact, just two students and they weren’t actually studying. The majority are from Pakistan, at the moment registered with the college are approximately 350 students.
“We’re appealing for anyone who currently attends the college or any students who had previously attended the college to come forward, likewise any ex-teachers from the college, and any information they provide will be treated with confidentiality.”
He said the “long-term plan” is that students who have not attended the college will be rounded up by enforcement teams and “dealt with accordingly”. In other words arrested, detained and removed from the UK.
Leeds Professional College advertises courses in business and management, health and social care and English for international students.
It says students must attend a minimum of 80% of classes and those who do not will be reported to the UK Border Agency.
The licence will be revoked and student’s CAS cancelled after 60 days, which means they will have to find another college and apply for a new student visa or leave the UK.
If you are a student victim and have lost money due the demise of Leeds Professional College, please email Immigration Matters at email@example.com
The UKBA have closed down over 500 private colleges, leaving many thousands of students ‘high and dry’ with no money and a cancelled visa to add to their problems.
In addition, two government owned institutions have had their Tier 4 sponsors licences revoked – London Metropolitan and Bilston College.
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:
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