Three Sikhs in Britain have been jailed for smuggling at least 30 Afghan invaders into the country by taking advantage of the fact that white border officials could not tell them apart from other nonwhites with U.K. passports.
According to a report in the Indian PTI News service, the three Sikhs admitted their part in the scam in which they used the passports of their family members to help Afghans pretending to be asylum seekers enter the U.K. in 2014 wearing “traditional turbans.”
In this way, border officials could not tell pictures in the passports—of Sikhs with U.K. nationality—apart from the individuals who presented themselves at the border posts, because they all looked similar.
Cousins Daljit Kapoor and Harmit Kapoor, and Davinder Chawla, all three in their 40s, pleaded guilty before their trial at Inner London Crown Court this week.
They admitted two charges of conspiracy to help the invaders from Afghanistan to enter the U.K. illegally between May and June 2014 and will be sentenced later this month.
“We say these three men are the facilitators in this organized crime, where they are using genuine British passport holders within the Sikh community. It’s a Sikh conspiracy and it’s occurring because it’s very difficult for the authorities at the border control to distinguish who’s who on the passports,” prosecutor Edward Aydin had said at an earlier hearing at Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court.
The passports shown by the Afghans all had photos of Sikhs wearing their turbans and border staff failed to spot the difference.
Around 30 Afghans are said to have successfully claimed asylum after paying the three fraudsters £12,000 per family to enter the U.K.
A gang member would drive to Paris with genuine passports of family members and hand them over to the Afghan families so that they could get through airport security.
Once in the country, the gang retrieved the passports and then used them again with a new set of invaders.
Harmit Kapoor also admitted booking flights between June 8 and June 21, 2014, for the invaders to get to Britain, and Chawla admitted hiring a vehicle to facilitate their entry into Britain when he drove to Paris. He had been jailed for his part in an identical crime in February 2011, along with four other men.
Airline staff are believed to have suspected something was wrong and alerted French authorities, leading to the immigration racket being busted.
A fourth suspect, 41-year-old Joginder Dawan, pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy to help the invaders enter the U.K. and one charge of assisting the offence by allowing his passport to be used to book flights and travel. Not guilty verdicts were recorded for both counts and he was discharged.