Asians jailed for UK college immigration scams

Action has been taken against nearly 200 such 'colleges' in recent months following a crackdown on education bodies that provide documents for international students to obtain British visas.

Many such 'colleges' have little academic credibility.Syed Ahmed, a former barrister, has been jailed for 8. 5 years for his role in the scam at Thames College London.
Officials said the scam led by Ahmed netted millions of pounds that were stuffed into boxes and suitcases underneath a bed in a flat.

In Manchester, border officials suspended the licence of the Manchester College of Higher Education and Media Technology following complaints that it had broken immigration rules.

The college's chief executive is reported to be former lawyer Liaqat Malik.
Syed Ahmed, 36, was among five people involved in running the bogus college and a corrupt immigration advisory firm in London.

The gang was arrested following an investigation by our London immigration crime team.
Ahmed was found guilty of conspiring to assist unlawful immigration following a three-week trial at Southwark Crown Court.

He was cleared of money laundering charges.The other 4 members of the conspiracy, Ahmed's Chinese wife Junjie Kao, 30, Wie Xing, 30, also Chinese, and Bangladeshi nationals Khaled Mahmud, 35, and Tareq Mahmud, 35, were previously jailed for a total of 25 years for conspiring to assist unlawful immigration at Croydon Crown Court in January 2010.

Kao and Xing also pleaded guilty to money laundering offences, official sources said.
At the heart of the gang's conspiracy was Thames College London, which purported to offer genuine courses of education from premises in Whitechapel, but in fact offered none, the sources added.

It was run day-to-day by Khaled and Tareq Mahmud, but Ahmed was listed as a lecturer in law.The gang would provide fake documents and certificates through the college, which were then used to support visa applications to the Home Office for their 'clients'.
Those applications were processed by a legal company called Virgil Legal Services Ltd, for which Ahmed was the accredited legal adviser. The firm claimed to provide advice to students from China and the Far East who wanted to apply for or extend visas.
It advertised its' services in Chinese newspapers.

Officers found 2.65 million pounds in cash stuffed into boxes and suitcases underneath a bed in the flat Ahmed shared with Kao and Xing in south east London.

A UK Border Agency spokeswoman said: "We regularly check and monitor all sponsors in order to ensure they are meeting their obligations as a sponsor of migrants."As a result of our investigations, suspension action has been taken against over 200 sponsors. Where there is a breach of immigration control or the sponsor is unable to meet their duties, we will take action against them."

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