An immigration law advisor from Hayes was jailed last week for four-and-a-half years for masterminding a major immigration scam, Info4 Security reports.
Indian national Ravi Gupta, 41, was arrested by UK Border Agency officers from the West London immigration crime team during a dawn raid on his home in Carlyon Road, Hayes in November last year.
An accredited immigration law advisor, Gupta supplied dozens of his clients with fake documents, letters, education certificates and payslips to aid immigration applications, helping them to falsify details of their income. He would typically charge up to £5,000 for each application.
His scam was uncovered following an undercover investigation into the practices used by his company, Surge Global Solutions.
Gupta admitted 14 charges of assisting illegal immigration and an additional charge of obtaining leave to remain in the UK by deception.
Last Thursday, the judge at Isleworth Crown Court sentenced him to 4.5 years in prison and recommended that Gupta be deported at the end of his sentence.
Chris Foster, a member of the immigration crime team at the UK Border Agency, said: “Gupta ran a sophisticated and lucrative scam, designed to help people who would otherwise have no right to be here and stay in the UK. I’m delighted that we have been able to bring him to justice, along with a number of other people who knowingly benefited from his deception.”
Foster added: “Gupta’s guilty pleas are an indication of the level of professionalism across my team in being able to combat this type of crime. We’re fully determined to continue tackling organised abuse of our immigration laws.”
Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings designed to confiscate any money Gupta may have made from the scan have now begun.
Sentenced alongside Gupta were Tapinder Singh, 28, and Gurvinderpal Singh, 26, both of Benen-Stock Road in Stanwell Moor, Middlesex. Both admitted obtaining leave to remain by deception and money laundering offences, and were each sentenced to six months in prison.
A further four men and a woman who were also involved in the scam had previously been sentenced to jail terms of between four and eight months after admitting charges of obtaining leave to remain in the UK by deception.
Legal proceedings involving another six people suspected of being clients of Ravi Gupta are ongoing.
Damian Green, the Minister of State for Immigration, said:
“This summer we are targeting our efforts on breaking up the gangs behind visa scams, hitting rogue employers who repeatedly break the rules and doing more than ever to stop unwanted people coming to the UK.”
Anyone who has information about immigration crime should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Source: Info4 Security.
With so many legal ways to live, work or study in the UK it is surprising that people will pay thousands of pounds to crooks.
This week CIPD reported that the proportion of employers planning to recruit migrant workers has risen despite the government’s immigration cap.
A lack of job-specific skills in the UK was cited by six in ten employers as the reason for continuing to look abroad.
Worryingly for the government, employers affected by the cap were more likely to say that they are responding by recruiting more EU workers (34 per cent) which are not limited by the cap, rather than by up-skilling their existing workforce (23 per cent).
In the health care sector employers are increasingly turning to EU workers from A8 countries and A2 Bulgaria and Romania to fill hundreds of vacancies.
Despite high UK unemployment healthcare support workers or care assistants are still desperately needed by care home employers who cannot fill vacancies locally.
Bulgarians and Romanians who exercise their Treaty Rights (under Article 39) and apply for an accession card as students taking vocational or sandwich courses (e.g. NVQ/QCF in Health and Social Care), are allowed to work full time, as stated on their Yellow Cards.
Some NVQ colleges offer low initial deposits, flexible payments to help students get started and help with job placements (without charge) in the care sector, as well as free support with forms and paperwork.
NVQ and QCF courses have proved popular with Bulgarian and Romanian citizens seeking to gain a UK qualification whilst studying and working in London.
Bulgarians and Romanians applying for BR1 yellow card registration as students who wish to work are being forced to take out Comprehensive Sickness Insurance – a form of private medical cover. The insurance is a new requirement introduced by the UK Border Agency as part of changes to the BR1 Yellow Card form in June. The revised BR1 form does not make it clear that a student will need Comprehensive Sickness Insurance, as the actual question relates to those applying as ‘self sufficient’ EU applicants. For more information on immigration rules for Bulgarian and Romanian citizens visit the UK Border Agency website or see an OISC registered immigration adviser.
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
STILL CONFUSED BY YELLOW CARD RULES?
Free presentations are being run at Bison UK Immigration Advisers for Employers, Romanians and Bulgarians – Monday to Friday, from 11am-12noon and 3-4pm. No need to book, just turn up.
Venue: 16 Shenley Road, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire WD6 1DL. Nearest Train Station: Elstree and Borehamwood Station; Buses from Edgware underground station: 107 and 292.