Three jailed for student visa immigration scam worth £650k

|News, Fraud and economic crime

Three people have been sentenced for running a student visa scam worth at least £650,000 which helped foreign nationals stay in the UK.
 
Koteswara Nallamothu, 37, was sentenced to a 24 month suspended prison term today at (18 March) at Manchester Crown Court. Bashir was sentenced in his absence to six years’ imprisonment.

Co-defendant Tehshina Nayyar, 51, was sentenced in January to 27 months’ imprisonment.
The gang made hundreds of thousands of pounds from two colleges where they enrolled hundreds of foreign students.

Students would pay to join the colleges and receive a confirmation document. This document allowed a non-EU citizen to apply to the Home Office for a student visa and would allow them to live in the UK.
 
The first college, St John in Ashton-under-Lyne, was controlled by Muhammad Babar Bashir. It amassed 955 students who were all given a confirmation of acceptance of study between September 2012 and February 2013.
 
Koteswara Nallamothu who acted as an agent, of which there were many, was one of the middle men between illegitimate or unlawfully acting colleges and those seeking to obtain a visa in the UK. He had assisted Muhammad Babar Bashir by providing people willing to buy the certificate at St John College, without those people having the intention to study there.
 
Tehshina Nayyar was working at Kinnaird College in Manchester when she started working with Muhammad Babar Bashir in January 2014. Nayyar supplied Muhammad Babar Bashir with 352 CAS costing £500 each.
 
Bashir and Nallamothu denied being involved in an immigration fraud but were convicted after a trial in October 2018. Teshina Nayyar pleaded guilty in July 2018.
 
Arslan Khan, CPS Specialist Prosecutor, said: “These men said they were running two colleges in the UK giving an education to foreign students.
 
“Instead the colleges were just a façade to make money out of abusing the student visa system and providing people a way of staying in the UK. These defendants made significant amounts of money in their fraud which provided a golden ticket to UK immigrants paying for a UK visa.
 
“The CPS was able to present compelling evidence to secure their guilt including photos of one college which was found to be locked up and deserted during a check.”

 

Notes to editors

  • Arslan Khan is a Specialist Prosecutor in the Serious Fraud Directorate of the CPS
  • Muhammad Babar Bashir (DOB: 29/11/1979)
  • Koteswara Nallamothu (DOB: 24/10/1981)
  • Tehshina Nayyar (DOB: 17/01/1968)

 

Further reading