The director of a college and two invigilators who arranged for other people to sit English exams on behalf of overseas students applying for UK student visas have been jailed.
Vikram Kolagatla, the director of New London College in London was sentenced to six years and disqualified as a company director for nine years. Sidhartha Vats was jailed for three years and Sandeep Basham for five years at Isleworth Crown Court. They were convicted of conspiracy to facilitate breaches of UK immigration law by non EEA nationals
Three men who sat the exams on behalf of others received suspended sentences after admitting conspiracy to facilitate a breach of immigration law at earlier hearings.
The men were jailed after arranging for impostors to sit the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC). The Home Office requires the test to be passed by some people coming to Britain to study or those seeking leave to remain to continue their education.
The conspiracy was uncovered by a Home Office investigation in 2014, which found the fraudulent examinations to have taken place between 2012 and 2013. It was part of a nationwide operation to uncover suspected abuse in the exam system.
As a result of the conspiracy, New College London is banned from offering students Secure English Language Tests.
Chris Foster of the Immigration Enforcement Criminal Investigations team, said: "The six people sentenced today have all contributed to an organised assault on the immigration system. Their actions have allowed others to cheat their way to visas which they were not entitled to.
"Our investigations into English language test abuse are continuing across the country, and as this case demonstrates we are determined to find all those involved in this organised criminality and bring them to justice."