A group of criminals from west London that were running fake and illegitimate companies in order to produce fraudulent payslips that serve to augment forged Visas have been jailed.
The group were posing as owners of several apparently profitable companies which served as faces to conduct an organised counterfeit crime organisation which sponsored fake Visas entries which presented forged documents to the government immigrations officials.
This is a common method of money distribution that criminal gangs have used for as long as bank accounts have been around.
The process involves transferring cash from a fake business that is a front for criminal or otherwise questionable activity in order to make the activity seem normal.
The money is transferred to the individual’s bank accounts under the label of “pay” or “bonus”, this is in most cases to disguise large amounts of money reaching the criminal’s bank account.
The businesses were created in an effort to help provide proof of work alongside very highly skilled fraud Visa applications that were submitted to the Home Office which would allow illegal immigration to take place.
While the Visas would go through, the people who are accepted have not actually passed UK Visa regulations.
The gang were arrested in late 2012 by a criminal investigations team which had been observing them for a time window which exposed the activity going on.
David Fairclough of the Home Office Immigration Enforcement Criminal Investigations team commented on the arrests:
“This was a fairly sophisticated scam, designed to help people who would otherwise have no right to stay here in the United Kingdoms.”
“Our officer’s thorough investigation has helped put this gang behind bars.”
He went on to reiterating that to anybody who had similar ideas to the criminals: “The Home Office has dedicated teams with the resource and expertise to catch up with you and bring you to justice”
The convictions came after a trial which spanned 11 weeks.
A Mr Shahzad Sultan, a 37 year old man, was sentenced to 7 years and 6 months in jail.
Mr Salman Shahzad, a male and also 37, from Pakistan, was sentenced to 8 years.
Mr Devashish Shah, 35 from India, was sentenced to the smallest sentence of the group, 2 years and 6 months.
A Shanker Bhandari, male – 36, from Nepal, was imprisoned for 4 years and 4 months.
A Fida Hussain, 34, from Pakistan, was sentenced to 4 years and 6 months.
Money was transferred and laundered between bank accounts in an attempt to give the impression that the criminals were earning large amounts of money though high paying, highly skilled and legal jobs that had visibly circulating income.
The Home Office has now stated that it seeks to totally reject all the Visa applications of any who were involved in the fraudulent behaviour which has resulted in the arrests.
Although this particular operation has been successful, it is likely that there are many more gangs in Britain who operate under similar methods.