Eight arrests in London visa fraud investigation

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UK Border Agency Officers have raided 9 properties and arrested 8 people as part of a major investigation into a suspected visa fraud network based in London.

The investigators carried out raids on 5 residential addresses in Brent, Harrow, Southall, Hayes and Kilburn.

In addition searches were carried out at 4 separate business premises in Harrow and Park Royal. Two of those involved the offices of immigration law advisors.

The arrests were the culmination of a year-long investigation into a criminal network suspected of assisting hundreds of clients, mainly Indian, Pakistani and Nepali nationals, to fraudulently apply for UK visas. Clients would typically pay thousands of pounds each.

Andy Shortland, criminal and financial investigation team in West London, UK Border Agency said:
‘Our investigation is targeting an organised network suspected of being involved in a complex and systematic attempt to evade the UK’s immigration controls.

‘That investigation will continue with the evidence we have seized today.’

Those arrested were:

1) British male (aged 31) arrested at an address in Church Lane, Brent
2) British male (32) arrested at an address in Church Lane, Brent
3) British male (35) arrested at an address in Church Lane, Brent
4) British male (34) arrested at an address in Swanage Waye, Hayes
5) Indian male (32) arrested at an address in St Pauls Avenue, Harrow
6) British male (32) arrested at an address in North Road, Southall
7) British male (32) arrested at an address in North Road, Southall
8) British male (30) arrested at an address in Mortimer Crescent, Kilburn

All were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and are now being questioned at a police station in London.

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