Notice: wp_enqueue_script was called incorrectly. Scripts and styles should not be registered or enqueued until the wp_enqueue_scripts, admin_enqueue_scripts, or login_enqueue_scripts hooks. Please see Debugging in WordPress for more information. (This message was added in version 3.3.0.) in /home/immigration/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4138
Visa scam immigration adviser jailed for 10 years | Immigration Matters

Want to learn more about UK/EU Immigration Law? Click Act Now to learn more... Act Now

Hide
Show
Call Us +44 7950 458 464 | info@immigrationmatters.co.uk
 Categories : News

 

Vijay Sorthia was jailed for ten years for his part in visa scam run from North West London.

Bhawna Sorthia helped more than 160 clients illegally gain visas with help from wife Bhawna who was also imprisoned.

He first came to Britain as a student in 2000, but then illegally gained a work permit in 2004 after claiming he was employed by a sham company, the Daily Mail reports.

His 31-year-old wife, who said she worked as a cleaner at his office, was given a 15 month jail term for her ‘subordinate role’ in the scam.

The pair, who are both Indian nationals and have three young children, will face deportation once their sentences have been served.

As an accredited adviser with the Offices of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), which is linked to the Home Office, Mr Sorthia was able to assist individuals with claims for asylum, as well as immigration, residence and citizenship applications.

In its advertising, Migration Gurus touted itself as ‘a leading Immigration and Overseas Education consultancy’ which had ‘assisted hundreds of individuals’ enter or remain in Britain.

During an-18 month period between 2008 and 2010, the couple helped more than 160 clients illegally gain a visa by providing them with false documents alleging they were highly-skilled migrants.

It is estimated they charged between £3,000 to £5,000 each time.

But in reality, the individuals were already in Britain as foreign students, or migrant workers employed as low-skilled labour at supermarkets, betting shops or petrol stations, who would not have qualified for a new visa under the current immigration criteria.

In a bid to bypass Home Office rules, the couple were using up to 70 sham companies to provide clients with payslips and wage payments which gave the appearance they were earning much larger sums, making them eligible to remain.

Sentencing the couple at Isleworth Crown Court, Judge Andrew McDowall said Mr Sorthia’s actions risked ‘undermining’ Britain’s immigration controls and ‘eroding public confidence’ that migrants had arrived lawfully.

He warned: ‘During difficult economic times, it becomes easier for those who are motivated by racial motives to start casting aspersions against those that are properly and legitimately in the country by trying to paint everyone of that ethnic group as tainted in some way, over the wrongdoings done by a limited number.’

The court heard that following their arrest in May 2010 by investigators from the UK Border Agency, the couple sold their home in Stanmore, North West London, and transferred £466,000 out of the country, before fleeing to India on fraudulent passports.

They returned to Britain in the July 2011, but only after taking a £21,000 holiday across the United States, stopping off in New York, the Grand Canyon, Atlanta, Louisiana and San Francisco.

In total, the jury were told Mr Sorthia helped 166 people gain visas illegally over an 18-month period.

But the real number of migrants who gained a visa unlawfully is likely to have run into the hundreds, with investigators dealing with the case estimating the criminal proceeds from the scam could have netted the pair up to £1.2million.

Fifteen clients who benefitted from the scam have already been convicted and sentenced to between eight and 10 months in prison. Of these, 14 have already been deported.

Senior UKBA investigating officer Robert Coxhead said: ‘Vijay and Bhawna Sorthia knowingly flouted the UK’s immigration laws.

‘They ran a sophisticated scam designed to help people who would otherwise have no right to be here stay in the UK.

‘The amount of cash found at their home illustrates how lucrative this was, and we will now begin the process of stripping them of those assets using the Proceeds of Crime Act.

‘The couple will also face deportation after they have served their sentences.’

The pair were both found guilty of fraud charges and removing criminal property, while Mr Sorthia was also guilty of obtaining leave to remain by deception.

A confiscation hearing to recover any money the couple made from the scam will take place later this year. Source: Daily Mail.

Regulated OISC immigration advisers are normally legitimate and follow the law. Migrants tempted by the short-cut promises of sham advisers should remember that when they go down they will take you with them.

Student at Cambridge University who sat English exams for illegal immigrants in people-smuggling scam jailed

Visa and Immigration Appeals on the increase

Immigration Judge says settled migrants can only be removed for ‘very serious reasons’

Students applying for UK visas from Pakistan face new English language test

50,000 students abused visa system says report

Canada’s Federal Skilled Workers Program to be streamlined to help businesses recruit much needed skilled tradespersons

UKBA confirm changes to the Immigration Rules which start on 6 April 2012

How Romanians and Bulgarians working illegally without Yellow Card or papers can legalise their status in the UK

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: 

info@immigrationmatters.co.uk or visit www.immigrationmatters.co.uk

Overseas students and workers can qualify for a tax refund 

You could qualify for a tax refund if you are an overseas student, work permit holder, Tier 1, Yellow or Blue Card holder – in fact any visa type – even if you are no longer legal or even in the UK!

Moneycorp

Spread the Word, like or share this page, your friends will also love it and thanks for it.



Do you employ foreign workers? Don't risk a £20,000 fine and a possible custodial sentence. We can advice on Entrepreneur Visas, Investor Visas and Home Office sponsor licence compliance for your business. Use the button below to schedule an appointment...

About

Immigration Adviser, Speaker and Author See also: www.LinkedIn.com Profile - http://www.linkedin.com/profile/edit?trk=hb_tab_pro_top www.Ecademy.com Profile: http://www.ecademy.com/account.php?id=110038 http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/14119859749/

One Response to “Visa scam immigration adviser jailed for 10 years”
Read them below or add one

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked by *.

You must beLogged in to post a comment.