June 19 2013 Latest news:
by Flora Drury
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
The Wood Green ringleader of a criminal gang behind a sophisticated English-language exam scam was jailed for four years today.
Yang Wang, of Lascotts Road, is believed to have made about £1.2m from the scam which saw a team of imposters sit exams for Chinese nationals who needed the qualification to remain in the UK.
Wang - who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to facilitate a breach of the Immigration Act and money laundering at Croydon Crown Court - used Chinese newspapers and the internet to advertise his services and also to recruit imposters willing to sit English language and ‘Life in the UK’ exams.
The recruits would then be provided with forged passports and appointments to sit the citizenship tests on behalf of customers in what would prove to be a very profitable illegal business.
The court heard how Wang, 31, was arrested on March 26 as he posted envelopes containing several counterfeit passports in Wood Green. A search of his house revealed more counterfeit identity documents, a quantity of cash and considerable incriminating electronic evidence and notes relating to his criminal enterprise.
It later transpired he had previously rented numerous addresses in London and the rest of the country under his various aliases and supporting false identification.
The detailed financial investigation that followed identified 19 accounts attributable to Wang. These 19 accounts showed a material benefit to Wang of £1.2 million with a balance totalling £284,967.
At court today, the money has been restrained and forfeited.
Two of Wang’s imposters - Xin Zhao, 24, of Samuel Street, Greenwich, and Junhua Yu, 24, of Darwin College, Cambridge - were previously been jailed for 12 months each after they pleaded guilty for their part in the scam.
Specialist Crime and Operations Detective Inspector Sarah Davies said the conviction sent a clear message to others involved in immigration crime.
She added: “Anyone considering using imposters to sit English language exams to remain in the UK should be aware that they are funding organised crime and the police, UKBA and organisations which own and manage these tests will prosecute anyone employing or providing these services.”