An immigration gang dubbed The History Men who rake in a fortune selling fake identities to illegal immigrants are exposed by The Sun newspaper.
The criminals peddle forged passports with the necessary visas, false National Insurance cards and bogus safety certificates for skilled jobs on building sites.
Realistic-looking utility bills are also part of the detailed “history” produced by the forgers to enable illegals to find work in the UK and dodge deportation.
The gang even provide counterfeit border entry and exit stamps showing the fake passport holder has been to India and returned without a problem.
Cocky Harpal Singh Sra laughed as he told our undercover team: “We are the History Men. We make pukka histories with which people can get employment.”
Unaware he was being recorded, he boasted: “We do this daily. It’s made here — London. All the blanks are stolen from the inside.”
Our investigation showed the frightening degree of sophistication in the secret market in dodgy documents.
To snare the forgers — who operate nationwide from their base in Luton, Beds — our reporter posed as an illegal immigrant seeking paperwork for a relative.
The gang charged him £1,240 for a “history” including a fake Indian passport, National Insurance card, and bogus gas bills that could be shown as proof of address.
The investigator met front man Sra outside a Sikh temple in Luton and handed over a £550 deposit along with passport photos and a slip of paper bearing the made-up details to be printed.
Engineering worker Sra — who calls himself Bhalla — told our man in Punjabi: “Just hand it to me quietly to the side here. You never know who could be watching.”
He warned that it could take longer than the usual few days to deliver, adding: “You know the cards that you want made? Well the blanks that they use, they had run out.
“Last Friday I collected some cards which had been made and the fella said he had run out of blanks and he is waiting for new stock, which should have arrived last night.”
Sra even offered our man a choice of having the fake passport marked as issued by the Indian High Commission in Birmingham or the embassy in London.
He boasted about the quality, saying: “There’ll be an endorsement showing travel to India to make it look used and that you’ve travelled.
“I’ve just dropped a passport off. If I had known you wanted to see one I would have shown it to you before delivering it.”
Sra showed intricate knowledge of the immigration system as he explained: “We’ll make the Home Office indefinite leave-to-remain stamp six months after the passport issue date. You gotta have a passport for the Home Office to stamp, and it always takes them five or six months to consider an application for indefinite leave.
“Then we’ll put stamps in to show he went to India for the Christmas holidays because it’s usual for our people to go to India then.”
Sra told how a skilled forger made the convincing histories, assuring our man: “I will be sitting right next to him when he makes the documents.” He said: “You can use our documents with any company or employment agency and they will work. Whatever month start dates you want, we’ll put on the document.
“You can try travel by coach. But definitely not through the airports. For any other purposes these passports will work.”
Just 18 days later, Sra met the investigator outside another Sikh temple in Southall, west London, after calling to confirm the “history” was ready.
He ushered our man into a silver Vauxhall Vectra with an accomplice behind the wheel. He said: “There are cameras everywhere. Come on, follow me. We’ll sit in the car and you can inspect the stuff. I’ve got loads of stuff with me to deliver besides yours.” Inside the car he took a second £550 payment and asked for the final £140 to be put into his bank account.
The forgeries were handed over stuffed inside a used electricity bill envelope. The fake Indian passport had a residence permit inside supposedly stamped by immigration officials in October 2010.
It also contained border stamps from Amritsar and Heathrow as if the holder had returned to his homeland for a month last year.
The driver said: “We do proper work. Check it against a genuine one and you’ll see.”
Sra even assured us that the number on our National Insurance card would work. The package included a Construction Skills Certification photo ID — known as a CS Card — needed to work on a building site. It came complete with a chip and hologram.
A Construction Plant Competence Scheme card bore the false name and photograph we had supplied. It listed the holder as a “trained operator” for 360-degree excavators.
The real nine-day course to learn how to safely operate an excavator and take the necessary theory and practical exams can cost £1,620.
Workers must also pass a health and safety test before earning the genuine card. But with the fake cards, none of this is done — and the quality of the forgeries means a construction boss could unwittingly hire an unqualified illegal immigrant.
The imposter could pose a serious peril to workers on sites packed with potentially dangerous equipment such as diggers.
The fake gas and electricity bills contained the false name and address we had supplied. The papers could be used as proof of residence.
Sra apologised for the delay in filling our order but explained it was down to the care the gang take to get the little details right.
He said: “We found out that they changed the format of the back of the CS card and we had to wait a bit so that we could copy the new format exactly.”
He told our undercover man that for future orders there would be no need to meet in person. We could simply email him scans of the passport photos.
The crook even supplied his bank account details for future payments.
He seemed to revel in his underworld organisation’s reputation as The History Men.
But our dossier is now in the hands of the authorities — and thanks to our investigation it is the gang that will be history.
A UK Border Agency spokesman said: “Our enforcement teams are specifically targeting illegal workers and those who would employ them and we will remove people who have no right to be here.” Source: The Sun.
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