Gang jailed for running bogus college
22 January 2010
Four people who ran a bogus college and a corrupt immigration advisory firm have been jailed for a total of 25 years for masterminding an immigration scam that is thought to have netted them millions of pounds.
The four were all arrested after a joint investigation by the UK Border Agency's immigration crime team and the Metropolitan Police. Chinese nationals Junjie Kao (30) and Wie Xing (30), and Bangladeshi national Khaled Mahmud (35), pleaded guilty to conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration. All three were sentenced to seven years' imprisonment.
Tareq Mahmud (35), also a Bangladeshi, was found guilty after a trial at Croydon Crown Court and was sentenced to four years' imprisonment.
Junjie Kao and Wei Xing also pleaded guilty to money laundering after £2.65 million in cash was discovered by UK Border Agency officers under their bed in the flat they shared in Rotherhithe, south-east London. They were sentenced to a further four years each, to be served concurrently.
At the heart of the gang's conspiracy was a bogus college which they set up, purporting to offer genuine courses of education but in fact offering none.
For payments sometimes amounting to thousands of pounds, the gang provided fake documents and certificates to allow their 'clients' to gain visas to stay in the UK.
The gang also set up a legal services company, which claimed to provide advice to students from China and the Far East who wanted to extend their visas, and helped prepare immigration applications which were then supported by the false documents they had manufactured.
The whole operation is thought to have netted them in excess of £4.5 million.