UK immigration squad arrests eight in London visa fraud raid

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has reported that it has made eight arrests in London as part of a major investigation of a suspected visa fraud ring.

UKBA investigators along with officers seconded from the Metropolitan Police carried out raids on five houses in Harrow, Brent, Southall, Hayes and Kilburn and four business premises in Harrow and Park Royal. Eight people were arrested. Two of the business addresses were the offices of immigration advisory firms.

The UKBA released a statement saying that 'the raids 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 of the West London Criminal and Financial Investigation Team of the 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.'

All those arrested were male British citizens aged between 30 and 35. They were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud. All are being held at a London police station.

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