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Author Topic: Two Nigerian bogus immigration advisory specialists jailed in UK  (Read 1486 times)

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Two Nigerian bogus immigration advisory specialists jailed in UK
« on: February 22, 2014, 10:04:27 PM »
Two men who made around £400,000 submitting fraudulent visa applications from a bogus immigration advisory firm in Romford have been jailed for a total of eight and a half years.

Ifelola Owoseni, 53, and Babatunde Ogunmakin, 45, submitted around 400 visa applications containing false documents to the Home Office, trading under the name of the East London Legal Centre and operating from Owoseni’s home address in Romford.

Most of the applications were rejected, and a specialist team of Home Office investigators uncovered the fraud.

They arrested Owoseni, a Nigerian-born British citizen of Grove Road, Romford, in March 2012, and Nigerian Ogunmakin of Montague Road, Tottenham, in October 2012.

Today Owoseni and Ogunmakin were jailed for 6 ½ years and 2 years respectively at Wood Green Crown Court, after being found guilty following a two week trial last month of assisting unlawful immigration and providing immigration advice and services when not qualified.

Owoseni was also found guilty of acting as a solicitor when not qualified.

Neil Scotney, from the Home Office’s Criminal Investigations team, said: “Both these individuals tried to profit from abuse of the immigration system. They took money from their clients in full knowledge that they were not licensed to act on their behalf.

“This case sends a clear message to anyone involved in this sort of criminality. The Home Office has dedicated teams with the resource and expertise to catch up with you and bring you to justice.”

The jury heard how, working from two offices in Romford, Owoseni and Ogunmakin offered advice on immigration matters despite neither being registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).

Owoseni told clients he was a qualified immigration solicitor, and even placed the name and details of a bona fide solicitor on his firm’s headed notepaper without the solicitor’s knowledge.

It is believed the East London Legal Centre received around £400,000 from applicants, with some clients charged upwards of £1000 per application. The Home Office is now seeking to secure the confiscation of the funds both men made from their fraud.

OISC’s Steve Scott, Investigations & Intelligence Team Manager, said: “Illegally providing immigration advice is a very serious offence. We will continue to work alongside our partner organisations to tackle this type of crime.

“We would urge anyone with any information regarding illegal advisers to contact us.”

The Home Office’s Immigration Enforcement Criminal Investigations team is a specialist unit of seconded officers from the Metropolitan Police Service working alongside warranted Home Office immigration enforcement officers to investigate organised immigration crime.

Anyone with information regarding illegal advisers can contact OISC on 020 7211 1500, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 10:10:26 PM by Admin »

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