Fake UK visa factory closed down

24 Jun 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A factory suspected of procuring and organising fake UK visas and travel documents has been closed down in Bangladesh.

An official from the UK Border Agency (UKBA) traced the operation from the capital Dhaka and the discovery of a fake UK visa back to the forgers' base in the city of Sylhet in north-east Bangladesh.

Eight people were arrested in the operation and a large haul of fake immigration documentation, visas - including UK visas - stolen passports and immigration stamps were uncovered when the police homed in on the forgery factory.

The items taken could have been used to attempt to illegally enter countries including the UK, officials noted.

Chris Dix, UKBA regional director, commented on the situation: "The UK Border Agency has effective verification systems as part of the UK visa application process.

"Where it uncovers fraud and forgery, the UK Border Agency will refuse an application, ban the applicant from travel to the UK for ten years and will refer applicants and agents to the Bangladeshi police."

Damian Green, UK immigration minister, noted that the government is doing "more than ever" to prevent people from abusing the UK immigration system.

He added that this and other operations help to send the message that the UK is "no longer an easy touch" when it comes to immigration.

Businesses in the UK can face substantial fines if they are found not to have conducted the correct immigration checks on their employers.

These checks can be as simple as checking through passports and other documentation, but failure to do so carries a fine of up to £10,000 per illegal worker.