23 August 2011

UK Immigration Minister: "The UK is no longer an easy touch"

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The Minister of State for Immigration in the UK, Damian Green, has claimed the UK is "no longer an easy touch", amidst news of the sentencing of a legal advisor, who masterminded a major immigration scam.

UK visa

Damian Green has claimed the UK is "no longer an easy touch".

Ravi Gupta, 41, who was living in Hayes, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail and recommended for deportation at the end of his sentence. He was convicted of supplying his clients with fraudulent documents for the purposes of aiding their UK visa immigration applications, allowing them to falsify their income details.

Gupta charged up to £5,000 for each application. Following an undercover investigation by the West London immigration crime team, his scam was uncovered and he admitted 14 charges of assisting illegal immigration and an additional charge of obtaining leave to remain in the UK by deception.

An agency spokesman said: "When someone was coming to an end of their visa he would assist them with the fake certificates or pay slips to make it look as if they were in far better jobs and were more highly skilled then they actually were. But typically the clients were in low paid jobs such as working in supermarkets, restaurants or cleaning jobs that wouldn't count."

Immigration Minister Green used the opportunity to claim: “This case shows we have stepped up action to tackle serious and organized abuse of our immigration system. The message is clear - the UK is no longer an easy touch." He continued: "This summer we are targeting our efforts on breaking up the gangs behind visa scams, hitting rogue employers who repeatedly break the rules and doing more than ever to stop unwanted people coming to the UK."

Gupta’s sentencing comes after news of eight people being arrested in Bangladesh following the discovery of fake visa by UK Border Agency staff in Dhaka last month, working with the agency’s Risk and Liaison overseas network (RALON). A huge haul of fake visas, stolen passports and immigration stamps were uncovered in a factory that served a major visa forgery ring.

UK Border Agency officers are given detailed detection training and last year discovered over 27,000 forged travel documents used to support visa applications globally.

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their Life in the UK test preparations and UK immigration applications.  

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