Two East London men who were found guilty of providing unregulated immigration advice and services and then laundering the proceeds have today, 11 July 2016, been sentenced at Southwark Crown Court.
Abdul Mukthadir KHAN, 33 of Hampton Road, Forest Gate, and Mohammed SAYEM, 40 of Windsor Road, Forest Gate, were found guilty on seven counts, namely:
1. Fraud by False Representation x 2;
2. Providing Unqualified Immigration Advice/Services x 2;
3. Converting Criminal Property (money laundering) x 3.
Mr Khan’s wife, Mahmuda MITU, 32, also of Hampton Road, was found guilty of one count of Converting Criminal Property.
Mr Khan and Mr Sayem, who operated from an office in Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets, falsely represented themselves to be immigration advisers and obtained £26,700 from two individuals for visas which were not provided. Only £6000 was returned.
The two victims were instructed to pay most of the money into a bank account of Ms Mitu which was operated by Mr Khan. That money was subsequently transferred to accounts held by either Mr Khan or Mr Sayem.
In addition large quantities of money, proceeds of criminal conduct, were transferred between bank accounts held by all three defendants over a period of two and a half years. All three were found guilty of this matter.
Mr. KHAN was given a number of sentences, to be run concurrently, resulting in him serving two years in prison.
Mr. SAYEM was also given a number of sentences, to be run concurrently, resulting in him serving two years in prison.
Ms. MITU was sentenced to a 24-month Community Order.
This prosecution was the result of an OISC-led investigation in partnership with the Metropolitan Police Service.
Her Honour Judge Korner CMG QC said: “These are extremely serious offences. The mischief is that they take advantage of persons desperate to enter or remain in the UK. The gravity is aggravated when large sums of money are taken to assist people and no such work is carried out.”
Commenting on the verdict and subsequent decision, Immigration Services Commissioner, Mr John Tuckett, said: “The offence showed a total disregard for statutory requirements, and a deliberate defiance of the law. This has been reflected in the sentence, and I hope this serves as a reminder to those who might otherwise choose this path.”
The OISC is an independent public body, established under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, to regulate the provision of immigration advice and services in the UK.
For further information contact Victoria Bovill-Lamb, Manager, Investigations and Intelligence Team, OISC, on 0207 211 1591.
For further media information contact Cornelius Alexander, Corporate Communications Officer, OISC, on 0207 211 1167.