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NRIs convicted in UK for human smuggling

india Updated: Apr 08, 2007 12:59 IST

An Indian-origin couple in Britain face a long prison sentence after being convicted of running a racket to bring illegal immigrants to the country on the pretext that they were musicians or dancers from India.

Rani Paul Kashyap, 44, and her husband Joginder, 51, were convicted in the Stafford Crown Court last week of conspiracy of facilitating the commission of a breach of immigration law between February 2003 and March 2005.

The Tamworth-based couple will be sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court in May, according to a report in the Birmingham Evening Mail.

Mark Wall, prosecuting lawyer, said the couple masterminded a plot to run the racket from their legitimate Sonia and Sunny Entertainments business in Birmingham. He said the company was set up to supply Indian entertainers to people in this country.

Wall said: "The prosecution do not think this business was entirely bogus because they quite legitimately provided entertainers on a regular basis."

But the company was used in part as a front to help people come into this country who were not genuine entertainers.

The way they tried to persuade the authorities they were genuine people was to provide genuine dates in Britain along with documents.

Wall said: "But very many of these bookings for these bogus entertainers were forged to mislead the authorities. They applied for group work permits and supported people who applied to the British High Commission in New Delhi.

"Once they had visas and work permits they were able to come to this country and many of those people just disappeared. Most of the concerts did not take place because they were bogus.

"The prosecution cannot say, but there is a fair inference you can draw by the fact that they would have been paid for their services and salted money away. It was a conspiracy and a plan by the Kashyaps to get people into the United Kingdom from India who should never have been allowed in."

Meanwhile, immigration officers raided four restaurants in Falmouth and escorted six people in handcuffs for questioning. The raids on the Asha India, Gurkha, Bangkok House and Balti Indian were carried out after a tip-off that there might be illegal immigrants working there.

A spokesman said the raids had been intelligence led.

"We can confirm that the Border and Immigration Agency with support of the police conducted an operation in the Falmouth area on March 31.

"This operation is consistent with the Border and Immigration Agency's commitment to target illegal working and intelligence-led operations are conducted every day of the week across the country to detect and remove those people who have breached immigration laws.

"The government has made it clear that it will take a robust approach to removing people from the country where they have no legal right to be here.

"We seek, where possible, to remove from the UK any individual found to be knowingly working without leave to remain or working in breach of their conditions of entry. This includes illegal workers."