Visa conman who exploited Indians in UK jailed

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Sep 06, 2014 02:10 IST

A 70-year-old first generation Indian immigrant who made an estimated 100,000 pounds by providing fake immigration and other official documents to Indians in the east Midlands town of Leicester has been jailed after being previously arrested and charged in 2005 and 2012.

Abdul Jacoob ran a one-man business providing immigration advice and other services to Leicester’s Indian community. His activities were exposed when the British high commission in India checked the antecedents of one of the documents he had supplied to an Indian citizen.

Prosecutor David Otterside told the Leicester Crown Court that Jacoob was arrested in 2012 after he had supplied documents to a Leicester man who was getting married legally in India and wanted to bring his new bride to the UK, reports from Leicester said.

He said Jacoob stamped the documents as being validated by a solicitor called Brian Johns, a person he had invented. The bridegroom called the police after the high commission tried to trace the lawyer 'Brian Johns', from London Road, Leicester, and found he did not exist.

Otterside said that when the police searched Jacoob’s house they found they blank wage slips, visa applications from India, and a computer recording searches in government departments, the reports added.

He said that Jacoob had 10 convictions for obtaining property by deception and providing illegal immigration advice from Leicester Crown Court in May 2005, and added: “We say the eventual profits from this illegal business come up to £100,000 and maybe beyond that figure.”

The judge, recorder Adrian Reynolds, told Jacoob he had no choice but to give him a jail sentence especially as he carried on his business after being arrested an charged last year. He said: “I don’t believe you acknowledge or believe you have done anything wrong. If the result of this sentence is that people in your community get to see you for what you are so much the better.”

Balraj Bhatia, defending lawyer, said his client was one of the first generation of Indians to come to Leicester, many of whom did not speak or read English. Jacoob was able to help his countrymen with documents with regard to housing and tax benefits and immigration.

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