x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Consultant 'sold forged papers for visas'

An immigration consultant provided forged documents to British visa applicants seeking consular clearances, a court heard yesterday.

DUBAI // An immigration consultant provided forged documents to British visa applicants seeking consular clearances, a court heard yesterday.

According to the public prosecutor, MA, 38, who was charged by the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance with forgery of official documents, had been involved in several similar offences and was sentenced to three years in April. The case in court yesterday occurred before that sentence.

Records showed MA, a Pakistani, advertised immigration services for the UK, Australia, Canada and the US in Urdu-language newspapers to attract customers and charged up to Dh30,000 from each client.

Prosecutors said that in March 2009, a customs official was contacted by the British consulate inquiring about a Pakistani customs employee who had applied for a UK visa.

"The woman from the consulate said that MZ [the customs employee] applied for a visa claiming he worked as a supervisor earning Dh12,000," the customs official told prosecutors. "After I informed her that he worked as a lorry driver with a Dh6,000 salary, I asked for the papers to be sent to us to file a complaint."

The documents provided by the consulate included a forged salary certificate from Dubai Customs. The lorry driver, 45, said: "I saw the advertisements of the company and was told by MA to pay Dh30,000, and he would guarantee all the arrangements for him to go to the UK. He asked me for Dh11,000 up front and a salary certificate, among other documents."

The court will reconvene on January 13 to issue a verdict.

amustafa@thenational.ae