Exchange Chambers barristers successfully prosecute ‘bogus colleges’ case

February 1, 2019

Jane Greenhalgh (lead counsel) and Huw Edwards (junior counsel) from Exchange Chambers have successfully prosecuted three men for conspiracy to facilitate breaches of UK immigration law.

Muhammad Babar Bashir, Tashina Nayyar and Koteswara Nallamothu were found guilty of using ‘bogus colleges’ to profit from helping people enter or stay in the UK illegally.

In return for cash, the defendants would provide applicants with a student places but, in reality, the defendants did not have any intention of providing an education and instead it was a way of making thousands of pounds for themselves.

Successfully making the case for the prosecution, Jane Greenhalgh said that the alleged conspirators would take control of failing or bogus further education colleges, in Manchester city centre and Ashton.

After making payment, the students would then be given a confirmation of acceptance of study (CAS), described as the ‘golden ticket’ which should enable them to come to the UK to study.  However, there was nowhere for the students to study, and no lessons, teachers or equipment.

The jury were told that St John College in Ashton and Kinnaird College in Manchester city centre were being used in this way.

The scam saw £2.6m pass through St John College’s accounts, and a further £856,000 go through the accounts of Kinnaird College, both over a two-year period.

The colleges were later shut down by the Home Office.

Bashir, of Bold Street, Moss Side, and Nallamothu, of Upper Wortley Road, Rotherham, were convicted of conspiracy to facilitate breaches of UK immigration law after a four-month trial.

Nallamothu will be sentenced in March, as his barrister was unable to attend the sentencing hearing. Bashir did not turn up for his sentencing hearing and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Nayyar, of Wilbraham Road, Chorlton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to facilitate breaches of UK immigration law before the trial.  She was sentenced to 27 months in prison, two years and three months.