Two fake UK work permit and immigration advisers in Birmingham have been sentenced with fraud after taking thousands of pounds from unsuspecting members of the Pakistani community. Former mortgage advisor Safhir Majid received 27 months imprisonment from the Birmingham Crown Court, along with a victim surcharge. Mr. Majid will be serving half of his work permit UK fraud charge in custody and the other half on license.
Majid's partner, Shahid Ahmed Bhatti was given a 24-month suspension, plus a 16-month prison sentence, as well as a victim surcharge for the part he played in the fraud. The duo founded a company in the West Midlands called "Empire Legal Solutions," where they pretended to offer legitimate advice on tier 2 work permit options, visas, and immigration. Mr. Majid posed as a solicitor, while the pair took money from unsuspecting members of the public.
After being caught out offering fake UK visas advice, Mr. Majid pleaded guilty to providing unqualified immigration advice (five counts), and one count of false representation fraud. Mr. Bhatti pleaded guilty to only one count of fraud by false reputation, and one count of providing unqualified advice on UK immigration.
The judge in the case reprimanded both parties for their unethical actions in pretending to be UK immigration consultants. He told each man that they had pretended to be UK immigration lawyers when they knew that they were unqualified and that they had "bungled" applications that caused one client to face removal from the UK.
The behaviour of the two fake consultants was described as "despicable" by the UK courts, who pointed out that offences of this nature are designed to pray on people who are in a particularly vulnerable situation. In any occasion, applying for UK visas requires a person to have the correct support and guidance, and the two men charged with fraud, in this case, were defined as both "greedy" and "incompetent."
In a press release about the fraudulent UK immigration lawyers' case, Dr. Ian Leigh, a deputy immigration services commissioner said that both Shahid Ahmed and Safhir Majid had set up a criminal enterprise to take money from people who needed UK work permit help. In these severe cases, the commissioner was thrilled with the harsh sentences given.