3 men arrested for supplying counterfeit immigration documentation

25 Sep 2012 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Three men have been arrested for supply counterfeit documentation for the use in applications for UK work permits.

UK Border Agency (UKBA) officers arrested men at three separate addresses in Luton, Teddington and Leatherhead earlier this week (Monday, September 24th) after evidence suggested that they were involved in supplying fake documentation for the facilitation of illegal working.

The individuals are being held at a police station in London for investigation, while their mobile phones and other items will be analysed in order to further support the case.

At the moment it is not known how many immigrants the individuals have been working with in the supply of counterfeit documentation. But there could be dozens of individuals who may see their UK work permits revoked or their immigration status reassessed.

Andy Shortland, senior investigating officer on the case and a member of the UKBA's West London criminal and financial investigation team, commented: "We have today arrested three men as part of a major investigation into the supply of false documents to allow people to work in the UK illegally.

"We have seized mobile phones, documents and other material from these addresses and they will now be examined as part of our investigation."

The investigations remain at an early stage but the penalties awaiting the three men could be severe. Earlier this month, 34-year-old Bhavin Shah admitted to charges of conspiring to defraud the Home Office, giving immigration advice illegally and money laundering at Isleworth Crown Court.

Mr Shah was shown to have charged clients between £3,000 and £5,000 to process their UK extensions, despite the fact that he was not registered as a UK immigration consultant. He was sentenced to a prison term of almost five years. He will also face deportation after serving his sentence.

The penalties for individuals providing fraudulent services are high, but the problems they can create at a later stage can be very destructive for migrants as well. It pays to take the time to find an immigration consultant you can trust when making such a major decision as moving country.