The director of New London College in Hounslow, who oversaw systematic abuse of the English language test system, was jailed on Friday (September 30).
Vikram Kolagatla, 40, along with two invigilators, 41-year-old Sandeep Basham and 45-year-old Sidhartha Vats, arranged for impostors to sit the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) on behalf of foreign nationals seeking student visas.
The TOEIC qualifications are required as supporting evidence in some applications for leave to remain in the UK, typically for people who would like to come to the UK as a student, or to remain here to continue their studies.
Following a Home Office investigation into New London College, the three men were arrested on July 17, 2014. Evidence including computers, mobile phones and documents were subsequently seized as evidence.
All three were convicted of conspiracy to facilitate breaches of UK immigration law by non EEA nationals on September 12, 2016, following a 16-day trial at Isleworth Crown Court.
Further, three other people, Malsrinah Mutukumarana, 41, Kurukulasuriya Perera, 40, and Krutika Parekh, 29, who had all sat tests on behalf of others, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to facilitate a breach of immigration law at earlier hearings.
The scale of the conspiracy at New London College, which was found to have operated from March 2012 until May 2013, was uncovered as part of a UK-wide investigation into suspected abuse of the English language testing system.
An 'organised assault' on the immigration system
Assistant director Chris Foster, from the Immigration Enforcement Criminal Investigations team, said: "The six people sentenced today have all contributed to an organised assault on the immigration system. Their actions have allowed others to cheat their way to visas which they were not entitled to.
"Our investigations into English language test abuse are continuing across the country, and as this case demonstrates we are determined to find all those involved in this organised criminality and bring them to justice."
In full, Vikram Kolagatla, of Garrison Close, Hounslow, was jailed for six years and disqualified as a company director for nine years. Sidhartha Vats, of Galsworthy Road, Kingston upon Thames, was jailed for three years. Sandeep Basham, of Tilling Crescent, High Wycombe, was sentenced in his absence to five years in jail.
Malsrinah Mutukumarana, of Chester Road, Hounslow, was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months and ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.
Kurukulasuriya Perera, of Standard Road, Hounslow, was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months and ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.
Krutika Parekh, of Boleyn Road, Forest Gate was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and suspended for 12 months.
As a result of the investigation, New London College is no longer permitted to carry out Secure English Language Tests.