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.
The asylum seeker paid £2,000 for assistance and was told that Farooq “was her solicitor and she did not need anyone else to help her with immigration problems.”
In addition, Bangladesh-born 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.