Three suspected fraudulent immigration lawyers have been arrested in Greater Manchester following a Home Office raid on Wednesday.
It said the suspects were believed to be part of a legal advice firm run by Chinese and British nationals out of a garage attached to a residential property, which had been converted into an office.
The company owners, a married couple, are alleged to have been supplying fake documents to enable foreign nationals to falsify asylum claims and remain in the UK. It is believed they have been charging more than £3,000 per client.
The firm is not registered with either the Solicitors Regulation Authority or the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).
Michael Tomlinson MP, minister for illegal migration, said: “This operation shows once again that we are relentless in our pursuit of those we suspect of abusing and gaming our immigration system for profit.”
Andrew Radcliffe, assistant director of Home Office criminal and financial investigations, added: “These arrests send a clear message to the criminals exploiting our laws and borders. Facilitating illegal entry into the UK will not be tolerated and we are working tirelessly to dismantle networks of people helping illegal migrants stay in the UK by encouraging them to make false claims.
“This operation shows the importance of strong intelligence and cooperation between the Home Office and the OISC.”
John Tuckett, Immigration Services Commissioner, said: “This operation demonstrates how truly valuable our work is to prevent illegal practice and protect the vulnerable. OISC investigators work across the UK to ensure illegal activity of unregistered immigration advisors is identified, disrupted, and terminated.”