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Wolverhampton couple spared jail over false immigration claims

A fraudster who tried to get hundreds of illegal immigrants into Britain has been spared jail.


Gurdev Nagra and her late husband Duman Singh cashed in on Indians desperate to stay in this country, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

The couple filled in over 280 bogus applications in less than three years in failed bids to win permission for the individuals to stay in the UK, said Miss Elizabeth Bussey-Jones, prosecuting.

Investigators believe that Nagra and Singh pocketed around £300 a time for their services. The paperwork they produced purported to show the applicants had been living in this country for 14 years – the minimum length of time needed for somebody to be granted permission to remain in the UK on residential qualifications alone.

Investigators revealed after the case that they estimate the corrupt couple made between £260 and £320 profit from each bogus case meaning the scam could have netted over £84,000 between January 2008 and September 2010 when they were arrested.

The money-spinning racket was uncovered after Home Office officials spotted a large number of applicants using the same address – the house in Riley Crescent, Penn Fields, Wolverhampton, where Nagra and Singh lived.

The bogus applications each also had false evidence from a person in Jalandhar, a city in the Punjab, who supposedly supported the claim that they had left that area to move to the UK at least 14 years previously.

Nagra also allowed cash paid to the couple by applicants to be laundered through her bank account.

Mark Kelly, defending Nagra, said: "She was instructed by her husband on what to do and took no proactive steps whatsoever."

The couple were arrested in September 2010 and charged in October 2011. Duman Singh died last year of a terminal illness.

Nagra, of previous good character, pleaded guilty to two charges to assisting unlawful immigration and one of providing unlicensed immigration services and was given a 12-month jail sentence suspended for two years.

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