Mustafa Ali Noor
As per the provisions of Britain’s Visa Tier-1, migrants applying for a visa to set up a business or invest in the UK is required to show proof of police checks for every country they have lived in during the previous 10 years. Otherwise, they were supposed to be banned from entering the United Kingdom under plans for a sweeping crackdown on foreign criminals, which had started following the nerve-agent attack on Sergei Skripal.
From September 2015, anyone applying for a visa to set up a business or invest in the United Kingdom were required to show proof of criminal records checks for every country they have lived in during the previous 10 years. Family members traveling with them were also required to show the same evidence. Anyone found to have lied about their criminal records were supposed to be banned from Britain for 10 years.
The crackdown began following concerns over rising immigration levels and the government’s inability to deport hundreds of foreign criminals each year, often on “human rights” grounds.
A 2015-figure showed that “net migration” – the difference between migrants arriving and people leaving the United Kingdom stood at 318,000, higher than when David Cameron became Prime Minister and far above his target to reduce the number to the “tens of thousands”.
In the same year, controversial cases had included a Libyan alcoholic who was not deported, despite behaving disgracefully, because he would face severe punishment for consuming alcohol in his homeland.
James Brokenshire, the then Immigration Minister said, “Foreign criminals have no place in the United Kingdom and this scheme will help keep them out.
“Since 2010, checks on foreign nationals going through the UK criminal justice system have increased by more than 1,000 percent, helping ensure more foreign criminals are taken off our streets and making our communities safer.
“But we want to go further still by preventing these people from getting into the country in the first place. Mandatory police certificates will serve as an additional tool to help us achieve this.”
The initial phase of the scheme was supposed to be applied to “Tier 1” visa applicants who are seeking entry as investors or entrepreneurs, and their dependents. These are migrants from outside Europe who want to set up a business, in the case of entrepreneurs, or to invest at least £2 million in the UK, in the case of those using the investor route.
Anyone unable to provide proof of criminal records checks for the past decade will be refused a visa. Records for minor offenses committed a long time ago, will not automatically lead to a visa application being rejected.
However, migrants will be banned for more serious crimes that resulted in lengthy custodial sentences.
A notorious criminal had violated these provisions
In 2009, a sacked Bangladeshi military officer Md. Shahid Uddin Khan, along with his wife Farjana Anjum and daughters Shehtaz Munasi Khan, Parisa Pinaz Khan and Zumana Fiza Khan had entered the United Kingdom with tons of dirty money and had even managed immigrant status under Visa Tier 1, vide VAF No. 511702.
On January 17, 2019, Dhaka residence of Md. Shahid Uddin Khan was raided by the members of the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of Bangladesh Police.
CTTC, based on secret information, raided House No. 184, Road No. 2, Baridhara DOHS in Dhaka, Bangladesh on January 17, 2019. This house is owned by Md. Shahid Uddin Khan and was allegedly used as a warehouse for arms, explosives and propaganda materials of Islamic State (ISIS). During the raid, a large volume of weapons, detonator, counterfeit Bangladesh currency notes and jihadist materials of ISIS were recovered by the CTTC unit.
The same family has also invested millions of dollars in a number of business ventures in the United Arab Emirates as well as deposited in their bank accounts in Dubai. According to media reports, Md. Shahid Uddin Khan and his family members are holding stakes in the transnational narcotics and arms trafficking, which is run by notorious terrorist Dawood Ibrahim’s D-Company.
Since 2006, Md. Shahid Uddin Khan and members of his family are facing numerous criminal cases in Bangladesh and had even been convicted. They have intentionally suppressed such information from the British authorities, for which they can be deported and banned for 10 years.