Network Of Fraudsters Give Low-Skilled Migrants ‘Phantom Jobs’ To Trick Home Office

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 28: Border Force check the passports of passengers arriving at Gatwick Airport on May 28, 2014 in London, England. Border Force is the law enforcement command within the Home Office responsible for the security of the UK border by enforcing immigration and customs controls on people …

Migrants with low paid jobs are being given fake “phantom jobs” so they can stay on in Britain illegally, a court has heard.

A network of illegal immigration advisors sent low skilled Indian migrants false invoices and paid money into their accounts, Southwark Crown Court has heard.

Despite the fake payments, the migrants held low-paid jobs, including as a shop worker in Superdrug, the Daily Mail reports.

Some have been convicted in relation to the plot. However, others have escaped by fleeing the country to avoid facing trial.

Amarnath Aitha, 31, and Shyam Polsani, 40, are accused of trying to avoid deportation by using the scheme, which is said to include pharmacist Navya Avala, 35.

Nicholas Lumley QC, prosecuting, explained: “Once they had been here for a little while and sought to stay on they bent the rules and the regulations in order to stay in this country.

“We seek to show that rules which were in place relating to immigration, clear rules, were deliberately and dishonestly broken.”

At the time of the offences, the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme was in place, which is used to calculate whether a migrant could remain in the UK on a long-term basis.

The court heard that Mr. Avala and others involved in the plot helped migrants by making it appear as though they were being paid for work as IT specialists at companies such as IT Verticals Ltd.

Mr. Lumley added: “What really boosted any application was if the applicant were to show they earned a certain amount of money.

“What each of these applicants struggled to achieve was a significant level of earnings such as would justify them remaining in this country.”

He continued: “By creating phantom jobs, false invoices were generated, the money was put into the bank accounts to give the impression people were getting paid but in fact it was all a sham.

“There are people who exist who are prepared to help others in this way by applying a veneer of respectability to people who wish to remain in the country.”

The defendants deny all the charges and the trial continued.