UKBA officer used lover to con migrants

anjali patel ukba officer

London: An officer of the UK Border Agency (UKBA) has admitted of using confidential data to scam a number of vulnerable immigrants out of £113,000.
Anjali Patel, the executive officer with the UKBA’s case resolution directorate, has admitted to two counts of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office.
The officer passed confidential information to her partner and law student Abdul Farooq who posed as a fully-qualified attorney and gave immigration advice.
In addition, Patel informed Farooq on how to undermine the immigrant’s application process.
The couple conned up to £13,000 from immigrants from Colombia, Pakistan and Bangladesh as they were near the end of their visas or facing deportation.
Prosecutor Karen Robertson said the couple used the obtained sensitive information to tailor advice to the immigrants.
Robertson said the couple’s scam was uncovered when a Colombian asylum-seeker contacted police after Farooq failed to help “regularize” her status.
Patel assisted him by the unlawful access of database and document files, personal data and other sensitive information.
The information she provided enabled Farooq to tailor advice to applicants and she gave advice to Farooq on how to subvert the application process.’
Failed Colombian asylum-seeker Maria Garcia-Zuniga, who had been in Britain for more than a decade and was working illegally as a cleaner, was the one who called police.
She had paid Farooq £2,000 cash to ‘regularise’ her status after he ‘told her that he was her solicitor and she did not need anyone else to help’, said Miss Robertson.
After shopping Farooq she pursued a bid herself to remain in Britain under human rights legislation.
Investigators later discovered an image on Patel’s phone of Farooq illegally giving immigration advice to a client at a hotel.
One client, Bangladesh-born Mamunmar Rahman, gave Farooq £12,950 cash to help him secure a five-year work visa which could lead to permanent residency for his wife and child.
Farooq – also known as Zen – falsely told Mr Rahman he was an employee of Voyage International Relocation Ltd.
The firm offered work experience placements to students at London’s Brunel University, where he studied.
Mamunmar Rahman, paid £12,950 in cash to secure a five-year work visa, which he never obtained.
Prosecutors had initially charged Patel laundering £48,850 and £24,330 in criminal property, however, the charges were later dropped.
The conned money was reportedly used to pay for Farooq’s large gambling debt and to cover payday loans.
The couple will both be sentenced by the Croydon Crown Court in south of London on February 20.