A man has been jailed after being pleading guilty to three counts of conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration.
Manchester Crown Court heard how Ravinder Singh, 57, set up a charity for Sikh religious teachers and used it as a front to forge UK visa applications for clients, who he charged £4,000 each.
The charity sponsored the individuals to apply for UK visas but they did very little religious work and instead found other paid jobs in the UK. As part of the scam, the recruits paid part of their wages to the Khalsa Missionary Society charity, and Mr Singh paid money back to them for their ‘religious teachings’.
The mortgage advisor, from Whitefield, Greater Manchester, confessed to three charges of conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration between 2011 and 2013, and was sentenced to 27 months in jail.
He was also banned from any involvement with a company working with migrants in the UK for 10 years and banned from being a company director for 10 years, the Daily Mail reported.
The scam was uncovered when a business associate found out that his identity was being used in 56 UK visa applications without his knowledge. It was claimed the man had an official role in the charity which he knew nothing about.
Other people were listed as trustees without their knowledge and Mr Singh also invented a trustee listed with the charity.
Judge Hilary Manley said that Mr Singh had benefited from “exploiting the vagueness in the official definition of a minister of religion” and had “succumbed to the temptation to exploit the very considerable power conferred upon you by the Home Office”.
Two of the charity’s clients, Dalbinder Singh, 30, of London, and Manjit Kaur, 29, of High Wycombe, Bucks, were also sentenced for obtaining leave to remain in the UK by deception.