3 Indians accused of running ‘Britain’s largest visa scam’

May 7th, 2009 - 5:04 pm ICT by IANS  

London, May 7 (IANS) Three Indian illegal immigrants have been accused of running the biggest visa scam in British history.
Ringleader Jatinder Sharma, 44, whose firm provided its customers with fake degree papers, references and CVs to help them enter Britain illegally, has already pleaded guilty to a number of immigration offences.

Alleged co-conspirators, Neelam Sharma, 39, and Rakhi Shahi, 32 - both of whom are reported to be married to Jatinder Sharma - are facing a similar range of charges at the trial at Isleworth Crown Court in west Londxon.

They are also both accused of entering and remaining in Britain illegally.

Prosecution lawyer Francis Sheridan told the court Wednesday Sharma’s company UniVisa opened the door to hundreds of unsuitable migrants without means to support themselves leaving British taxpayer to foot the bill.

Between October 2006 and May last year, UniVisa submitted nearly 1,000 applications to the British Home Office, making what is thought to be hundreds of thousands of pounds.

“Between them they submitted the largest number of fraudulent visa applications ever received by the Home Office from one source, making this the biggest immigration scam ever seen in this country,” said Sheridan.

“Applicants with humble backgrounds found themselves in possession of degrees, masters degrees, post-graduate qualifications and diplomas within a matter of months,” he said.

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