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Tuesday, Nov 19, 2019

Have sex, get a UK visa!

Workers at an immigration centre in London used their influence to seduce pretty asylum seekers, reports Nabanita Sircar.

india Updated: Jan 03, 2006 22:46 IST
Nabanita Sircar
Nabanita Sircar

A probe has been launched following a newspaper report that staff at Britain's biggest immigration centre was giving UK visas to attractive foreigners in return for sex.

A former employee told the Sun tabloid that workers at the centre in Croydon, south London, used their influence to seduce pretty asylum seekers whereas "ugly" migrants would see their applications rejected.

The whistleblower, Anthony Pamnani, a former administration worker at Lunar House centre which deals with 300,000 visa and asylum applications a year made the claims.

23-year-old Pamnani said, "One girl came in and told us an administrative officer had visited her flat and they slept together. She got indefinite leave to stay."

Staff treated Brazilian girls most favourably, he claimed. They would allow them to stay twice as long in Britain as their male counterparts. However, he said unattractive women would receive the opposite treatment.

"Officers use to say about ugly girls: 'She's bloody disgusting -- let's send her back anyway,'" he said.

Pamnani said that in "many cases" passports were not checked to ensure immigrants had no previous convictions and were not wanted abroad. "It was lazy because they only had to walk a few yards and swipe it through a computer reader."

He told the paper the final straw for him came when staff was given instructions to allow in more immigrants from eastern Europe at the expense of those from India. "I lost what remaining respect I had for the job," he said.

Home Office Minister Tony McNulty said: "I have every confidence that staff within the Immigration and Nationality Directorate carry out their roles with professionalism and integrity. There are clearly established systems for staff to raise any concerns that they may have with working practices within their team and to take the issue further if they feel it is necessary.

"These are serious allegations and I will ensure that they are fully investigated. Until the outcome of that investigation is known, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further but clearly I will not condone this type of behaviour amongst staff."