Oct 16 2012 by Ian Proctor, Harrow Observer
uk borders agency
INVESTIGATORS probing a suspected visa fraud network based in London arrested four people in Brent and one in Harrow.
Raids on five homes, in Harlesden, Kenton, Hayes, Southall and Kilburn, and four separate business premises in Harrow and Park Royal - two of them revealed to be the offices of immigration law advisors - were carried out on Tuesday morning by the UK Border Agency.
At Church Lane in Harlesden, agency officers arrested three British men aged 31, 32 and 35, while an Indian man aged 32 was detained in St Paul's Avenue, Kenton, and a British man aged 30 was arrested in Mortimer Crescent, Kilburn.
Furthermore, a British man aged 34 was arrested in Hayes, and two British men both aged 32 were apprehended in Southall, both in west London.
The UK Border Agency said 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, with clients typically paying thousands of pounds each.
Andy Shortland, from the UK Border Agency’s West London Criminal and Financial Investigation team, 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.”