12 August 2010
Couple convicted of UK immigration offences to lose crime profits
A couple who were jailed last year for UK immigration crime will lose almost half a million pounds of their ill-gotten gains.
Shamila and Anbanaden Chellapermal of Queens Gate, London, were both found guilty of human trafficking and knowingly employing illegal workers at their Worthing care homes and sentenced to two years in prison.
The UK Border Agency's South East immigration crime team commenced investigations after information was received that a Mauritian woman working at a nursing home in Worthing was being exploited.
Their enquiries found that three women and a man had been recruited by an employment agency in Mauritius and brought into the country by the Chellapermals. The workers, who did not have a valid UK Visa, were forced to work for up to 90 hours a week for only £450 a month, were not allowed to leave the homes unescorted, and were even prevented from seeing doctors.
The Mauritian-born couple were charged in 2008 and convicted in June 2009 following a three week trial at Chichester Crown Court.
Financial investigators from Sussex Police worked to identify money and property earned by the couple and £450,000 was confiscated under the Proceeds of Crime Act at Inner London Crown Court. The couple will also have to pay £25,000 in costs.
Detective Inspector Andy Cummins of the UK Border Agency's South East immigration crime team said: “The Chellapermals cruelly took advantage of their victims, forcing them into a modern form of slavery, working horrendously long hours for very little money.
“At the same time the couple was personally reaping very significant financial rewards. They also blatantly flouted UK's immigration laws,” he said.
The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their UK Visa applications to the British Embassy.