"Using his corrupt details, he gave his address in Leeds"
An immigrant was able to stay in Leeds illegally thanks to a stolen identity provided by a corrupt Home Office worker.
In 2004, Abadat Ali arrived in the UK from Pakistan on a multi-visit visa but in a bid to stay, he adopted the identity of a man named Jamil Ahmed.
Leeds Crown Court heard that Ali obtained leave to remain in the UK under the false identity provided by Shamsu Iqbal.
In 2018, Iqbal was jailed for 11 years.
He worked at the Home Office and was at the centre of a conspiracy which allowed hundreds of illegal immigrants to stay in the UK.
It was previously reported that the gang made more than £6.18 million from the conspiracy.
David Hall, prosecuting, said: “He helped people by providing sensitive Home Office information allowing each client of his to use genuine immigration profiles.
“His [Ali’s] last contact with the Home Office was in July 2004.
“Using his corrupt details, he gave his address in Leeds and uploaded bogus photos purporting to be the mane.
“He claimed asylum and was interviewed in 2014 under the identity and appealed.”
Ali was arrested on August 22, 2022, and was taken to Elland Road police station to be interviewed.
During the interview, he insisted that he was Mr Jamil.
Ali was charged and appeared in court where he “feigned mental health issues”
Mr Hall said: “At one point he was without a legal team and lay in the dock and was acting bizarrely.”
Ali eventually pleaded guilty to two counts of obtaining leave to enter or remain in the UK by deception.
In mitigation, Fuad Arshad said Ali was “approached by an agent while he was trying to remain in the country and was told, ‘You have no chance of success. If you pay this money we will be able to sort this out for you’.”
Mr Arshad continued: “If that is really what happened – and those are my instructions – the view of the court is that there is an element of exploitation – I don’t for a moment depart from his illegality.
“The stark reality is that he has been in England now for the best part of two decades.
“His instructions have always been clear that he himself was never in contact with those at the Home Office to commit this offence.
“It is important that the court is aware there is no direct link to him and the architects who received payment for their services.
“He and 39 others were exploited massively for the thousands of pounds they handed over.”
Judge Ray Singh questioned Ali’s reasons for seeking asylum but this was something the counsel could not help with.
He said Ali’s visitor’s visa from Pakistan was a “perfectly lawful application” but said:
“You have lived here for 20 years. These are undoubtedly serious offences. It brings the whole immigration system into disrepute.
“There are people coming into the country who are genuine asylum seekers and people like you bring that system into disrepute.”
Ali was jailed for 15 months and could be deported to Pakistan after serving half of his sentence.