The gang involved in Britain’s biggest ever visa scam has been spared jail, it was reported yesterday (11).
The scam, which saw 53 fake companies being set up, allowed 900 illegal immigrants to stay in the UK, Southwark Crown Court heard.
Taxi driver Mohammed Jillur Rahman Khan, 43, along with married couple Mazharul Haque, 46, Maksuda Begum, 45, and Shaheda Roxsanna, 47, created fake payslips so that their clients, employees seeking work permits, gain general and entrepreneur visas.
Despite the scale of their offences, the gang avoided jail terms on suspended sentences.
Passing sentence Judge Martin Griffith said: “This case was part two of an immigration fraud of industrial scale.
“For many people who come to this country which must be for economic reasons, there is a time-table because there comes a time where you must prove that you have substantial income to stay in the country.
“Unfortunately, the solution for some people is that they go to some services that prove income that just isn’t there – they pay through the nose.
“I can tell you all that although my sentence will involve jail, I’m not going to send any of you to prison today.”
All four received suspended sentences – Khan received two years; Roxsana, 19 months, Begum, 10 months and Haque, 16 months.
Prosecutor Maryam Arnott said: “This is believed to be the largest ever visa fraud that the CPS has dealt with and it is staggering the lengths these individuals went to in order to exploit the UK’s immigration system.
“The hard work and expertise of our Specialist Fraud Division and HMRC resulted in them having to face the consequences of their crimes.’
Alison Chipperton, from HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service, said: “These defendants willingly joined forces with an organised crime group to steal public money.
“HMRC worked closely with the Home Office to gather the strong evidence that has helped convict this group.
“Anyone with information on anyone committing this type of fraud should report it to HMRC online, or call our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”