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Illegal Pak Migrant Deported From UK Uses Rehab Money To Set Up Business In PoK

[ Updated 24 Jan 2012, 09:51:07 ]
Illegal Pak Migrant Deported From UK Uses Rehab Money To Set Up Business In PoK

London, Jan 24 : Ashar Ali Rathore, a 33-year-old Pakistani national from Kotli, Pak-Occupied Kashmir, was jailed for two years in UK for illegal immigration, served seven months and was given £1,500 of  rehabilitation money.

He went back to Kotli and set up a business offering UK passports, Daily Mail reported.Ashar Ali Rathore came to the UK with his wife Nadia Qadri, 34, on student visas  and then faked marriages to two Polish people to gain residency.

He  was jailed for conspiring to breach immigration law, but was then handed £1,500 of taxpayers' money - on condition of leaving Britain and returning to his native country - as part of a government scheme for rehabilitating foreign nationals.

He had only served seven months of his two-year sentence.

It now  emerged  that Rathore has used the money to set up Xpress Solutions - a company providing UK passports, visas and driving licences in Kotli, Pak Occupied Kashmir.

Among its other services, it also bizarrely offers 'any enquiry related to the laws of cricket'.Rathore and Qadri were jailed last March for their faked relationships with the two Poles.

The pair were arrested at their home in Luton, Bedfordshire, for conspiring to breach immigration law.

Police recovered around £16,300 in cash and bank receipts showing large amounts of money paid into the accounts of their fake partners, when the couple were arrested.

Rathore was deported last July and paid as part of the UK Border Agency Facilitated Returns Scheme for foreign nationals as an 'incentive for prisoners to co-operate with returning  at the earliest opportunity'.

But he used the payout to set up his new business in Pak Occupied Kashmir, providing UK passports,driving licences and National Insurance cards to Pakistani nationals.

A video of the launch of Rathore's new office, which has been removed from YouTube, shows a poster of UK driving licences, passports of various nationalities and a UK National Insurance Number card.

It also features an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) logo, which has been used without permission.

Rathore's office has signs in Urdu saying:'Immigration Appeals','Income Tax','Passports & ID Cards','Mortgages & Property', Registering Power of Attorney', 'LegalPaperwork/Statements','National and International College/University Admissions', 'Any Legal Disputes' and, bizarrely, 'Any Enquiry Related to the Laws of Cricket'.

Having been alerted to the misuse of its logo by Luton On Sunday newspaper, the ECB said in a statement:'He does not have our permission to use either the Association of Cricket Officials or ECB logos for commercial or business purposes and we thank Luton On Sunday for bringing this to our attention.

'We will investigate whether the logos are being used improperly.'A UK Border Agency spokesman said: 'The scheme saves the taxpayer the cost of keeping foreign national prisoners in prison and denies them the opportunity to re-offend.

'It should be noted that, as part of our investigation that resulted in Rathore's conviction, more than £16,000 in cash was seized from his address under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

This has subsequently been returned to the public purse.'Nadia Qadri voluntarily departed so did not receive any money under the scheme.

'At the British High Commission in Islamabad, Pakistan, the UKBA subjects all applications for visas to come to the UK to the same rigorous checks, which include checks against international watchlists.

'In addition, all visa applicants are required to give their biometrics (fingerprints).'Staff receive forgery and detection training and there are tough penalties for the submission of false documents and information.

'Anyone doing so will not only have their visa application refused, but also face a ban of up to ten years on future visa applications.'Jonathan Isaby, political director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, branded the payout a 'sick golden goodbye'.

He said: 'When all of us are having to tighten our belts and watch every penny, pay-offs for fraudsters like Rathore at British taxpayers' expense are an utter disgrace.

'Ministers must urgently review the operation of the Facilitated Returns Scheme to ensure that we are not being taken for a ride.

'At the same time, the British police should do all they can to assist the local authorities in Azad Kashmir in establishing the legitimacy of Rathore's new enterprise.

'Taxpayers will be appalled to learn that £1,500 of their hard-earned money was used to give a convicted prisoner this sick "golden goodbye" prior to his deportation.'