Government Official Shamsu Iqbal Led £6million Conspiracy To Allow 437 Illegal Immigrants Into UK
Shamsu Iqbal, 61, was the ringleader of a gang which made over £6million falsifying hundreds of immigration records to sneak illegal immigrants into the UK.
Iqbal’s gang of four could have cost the taxpayer up to £56million from benefits claimed by the illegal immigrants after Eqbal’s ‘exploitation’ of his trusted position within the Home Office.
As well as Iqbal, the other three gang members were Sheikh Muhammad Usman, 45, Mohammad Khawar Aftab Hussain, 49, and Mohammad Ibrahim Ali, 48.
On Tuesday, all four men involved were found guilty and will be sentenced next week, with a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.
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It is unknown exactly how many illegal immigrants were given ‘ghost identities’ but the Home Office have been able to confirm that the number is at least 437.
When Iqbal was arrested, investigators found over £1million in bank accounts, despite his job only earning him around £23,000 a year.
Charging £14,000 for their services, the gang earned over £6.18million from the scam, with much of the sum being sent to Pakistan, Dubai and Bangladesh where the gang members have links.
Iqbal accessed Home Office records of legal migrants who had the legal right to stay in the UK and replaced these with the details of their illegal immigrant customers.
Speak to the Mail, a senior Home Office source said: “The bottom line is that we may never know the true number of people this gang helped stay in the country.
“There could be literally hundreds more on their books that we simply haven’t found.
“The deception that has been allowed to go on for years is highly embarrassing to the Home Office.
“Some of those given new identities could even be potential terrorists. Many of them have simply melted away meaning we will never trace them.’
One gang member, Sheikh Muhammad Usman, is of Pakistani origin and is a qualified lawyer from Pakistan. Two other gang members, Mohammad Khawar Aftab Hussain and Mohammad Ibrahim Ali, both born in Pakistan, have both worked at solicitors’ practices in London.
Alongside Iqbal’s access to confidential government files which were used to swap the details of illegal immigrants, the gang members’ positions in law firms enabled them to facilitate correspondence between the illegal immigrants and the Home Office without raising any suspicions.
All four gang members have denied all charges.