Suspended solicitor and his brother convicted of providing unregulated immigration advice
Mr Mohammed Irshad, 47, a struck off solicitor and his brother, Mr Jhangir Razzaq, 42, both of Derby, were found guilty at Warwick Crown Court on 30 May 2014 of illegally providing immigration advice and services. They had traded as Armada Legal Services of Peartree Road, Derby.
Mr Razzaq was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment and Mr Irshad to 8 months’ imprisonment.
The prosecution was triggered by complaints received by the Immigration Services Commissioner. The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), investigated and discovered that large sums of money, much of it in cash, were being handed over to this unregulated firm.
In sentencing, the judge described the defendants as “charlatans.” He said that Mr Razzaq was “a man acting unscrupulously, not just inefficiently”.
“Many people want to migrate to this country either to live here permanently or for a particular time and a particular purpose. Many are unfamiliar with the apparatus which describes and assists them with their entitlements.
“Because they are unfamiliar, they are vulnerable. Razzaq put these people in the position where they parted with large sums of money and crafted a procedure which put them at a disadvantage. There are examples where people have become overstayers, causing real harm.”
The Judge said that he was sorry that the law only allowed him to impose a maximum sentence of 2 years.
Speaking about the decision, the Immigration Services Commissioner, Suzanne McCarthy said:
“The OISC is here to ensure that people seeking immigration advice are treated fairly by people they can trust. We have clear standards outlining what we expect in terms of the fitness and competence of regulated advisers.
“Mr Irshad and Mr Razzaq chose to operate outside the law, and without regard for the protection of their clients. I am delighted with the outcome of this case, and I hope it sends a clear message to other people considering providing immigration advice - either act within the law or you will find yourself in court.”