In a second case of its kind in less than a week, two Indians have been jailed for running an immigration racket, following an investigation by the Home Office.
Srinath Aredla (39) and Santosh Koletti (33), both from London, were sentenced to a total of 11 years after they were found guilty of “conspiracy to defraud” by running bogus companies that helped people settle in Britain illegally.
Aredla was sentenced to six-and-a-half years, while Koletti was sentenced to four-and-a-half years.
The U.K. Border Agency, which enforces immigration rules, said it estimated that they made more than £800,000 by supplying fake documents, such as payslips, to support their clients' applications for stay in Britain as highly skilled migrants.
The scandal was detected when the Home Office noticed a large number of applications from employees of one group of companies that were being dealt with by a particular solicitor. The men were arrested in August last year after a raid on their properties in Hounslow, West London.
“This was a sophisticated scandal, which netted the perpetrators a large amount of money — we estimate around £800,000. That Aredla was prepared to misuse his position as a practising solicitor to help people break the law makes his offence all the more serious. And not only will the pair face deportation after serving their sentences, we have also begun Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings to prevent them from benefiting financially from their crimes,” a spokesman said.