Directors jailed over work permit immigration scam

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A website company on a prestigious city business estate was nothing but a front for an immigration scam involving scores of fraudulent work permits, a judge heard.

And the two directors, both of Milton Keynes, netted at least £500,000 by selling the work permits to immigrants wanting jobs in local fast food restaurants and supermarkets.

The pair behind Techsense UK Ltd , Rashid Ghauri and Ali Junejo were this week jailed for fraud and money laundering – but they have left behind a trail of red faces at the UK Border Force agency.

Judge Peter Ross criticised the agency for “catastrophic failures” in dealing with the Pakistani-run company, which rented premises at White Clark House in Linford Wood West.

Posing as a website design company, it was supposed to be sponsoring immigrants to come to the UK and work in lucrative contracts for the NHS, BT and Microsoft.

Over a three-year period the border agency gave Techsense 117 certificates of sponsorship. Of these 50 led to visas and then an estimated 120 family members and dependants were later granted additional visas.

Jailing the two directors, Judge Ross said: “It is a scandal that no one checked with the organisations that were supposedly contracting with Techsense UK. Many of them were in the public sector. It would have been so easy.

“Everything was just taken on the nod.”