A UK immigration scam has been uncovered by officers from the UK Border Agency (UKBA) and the Metropolitan Police.
With the assistance of other official agencies, the teams targeted eight addresses in the Forest Gate area of east London in a series of dawn raids. As a result, they arrested two men and six women on the suspicion of conspiracy to facilitate a breach of immigration law and of obtaining passports by deception.
Charges relating to conspiracy to defraud and obtaining benefits by deception were also bought against the group, who were aged between 18 and 48.
Jon Bradbourne, chief immigration officer from the UKBA London Immigration Crime Team, warned people that there is a “formidable team” in place, specialising in UK immigration related criminality.
“We will investigate most rigorously those people who seek to abuse the hospitality of the UK and commit crime,” he added.
The officers who conducted the raids believe that the alleged scam was operated by a ringleader who deliberately brought foreign nationals into the UK in an attempt to defraud the country's benefit system.
The news follows a number of arrests in relation to other UK immigration scams, particularly those relating to spouse visas. Earlier this month, four people were charged at the Newry Magistrates Court for crimes relating to unlawful immigration, including seeking to obtain leave to remain in the UK by deception and assisting unlawful immigration.