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London College Scam Gang Jailed

Three people who ran a fake college have been jailed for a total of 22 years, following an investigation. Sohail Akhtar, Noasheen Muhammed, and Waqar Bhatti, were all found guilty of conspiring to assist a breach of immigration law following a 3-month trial. During the trial, a jury heard how Bhatti set up Middlesex College in 2004 and then employed his friend Akhtar and Akhtar’s sister Noasheen Muhammed to run operations. The college was offering courses in anything from fashion to law at undergraduate and post-graduate level. The college claimed that some of these courses were being run on behalf of genuine universities. The college ran only a small number of courses in basic English, and was largely a front for conning genuine students who wished to study in the UK and the authorities into granting visas for bogus students. At the time, the college claimed to have around a thousand students enrolled. Officers discovered that the trio had printed the signatures of genuine former members of staff on false qualification certificates and enrollment forms to add a cover of respectability. “This was an extremely long and complex investigation into three individuals who spent years conning both legitimate students and the authorities,” said Rob Allen, London’s criminal and financial investigation team.

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