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  1. ITV Report

Gang jailed for scam to allow people to stay in the UK illegally

A gang from north west London has been jailed for nearly 30 years for running an immigration scam that let people stay in the UK illegally.

Harrow Crown Court heard the group, led by British national Shahzad Sultan, created fake payslips and tax returns which were used to support applicants seeking a highly skilled Tier 1 visa.

Shahzad Sultan Credit: Home Office
  • The false documents were processed via the bank accounts of multiple fake companies set up in the names of the applicants
  • They gave the false impression they were financially eligible for a visa when in fact they were in low paid unskilled work such as supermarket shelf stacking
  • The scam was based on the transfer of money between accounts to make it appear the applicant was on a high wage

The gang was arrested by the Home Office's West London Criminal Investigations team in 2012.

They were all subsequently charged with conspiring to defraud the Home Office and sentenced after an 11 week trial.

This was a fairly sophisticated scam, designed to help people who would otherwise have no right to be here stay in the UK. Our officers’ thorough investigation has helped put this gang behind bars.

The message is clear to anyone thinking of doing something similar. The Home Office has dedicated teams with the resource and expertise to catch up with you and bring you to justice.

We will not tolerate immigration abuse, and as an organisation are cracking down on it all over the country. As the sentences handed out show, those who seek to exploit the immigration system will face heavy penalties.

– David Fairclough, Home Office Immigration Enforcement Criminal Investigations team

The other members of the gang are:

Shanker Bhandari Credit: Home Office
Devashish Shah Credit: Home Office
Fida Hussain Credit: Home Office
Hafiz Ulla Credit: Home Office
Salman Shahzad Credit: Home Office