Pakistani family members of new UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid have been accused of an alleged ‘cash for visas’ scam in their home country.
Two of Javid’s uncles may have been involved in the operation of an immigration pipeline from Pakistan to Britain that sometimes resulted in their clients’ payments disappearing without delivery of promised documents and services, according to a report in the Daily Mail.
“According to some residents in the village of Lasoori in north-eastern Pakistan, where Mr. Javid’s family still own a home, the two men had been arranging visas for would-be migrants since the 1990s. And in 2006, Mr Majeed set up a company called UK Study, based in nearby Rajana.”
The brewing scandal casts a dubious shadow on Javid, given that he will now oversee UK immigration policy and border security, however his spokesperson has denied Javid had any knowledge of the operation.
Khalid Abdul Hamid and Abdul Majeed are said to have offered a variety of pathways for Pakistani migrants to enter Britain, including arranged marriages and work visas, but Hamid claims that only a “few” student visas were arranged, dismissing the accusations as a smear campaign to damage the family’s reputation.
“It’s absolutely lies, because they are saying it against my nephew,” Hamid said. “It’s all rubbish, I don’t believe it, they are telling lies.”
Multiple Pakistanis say the brothers collected relatively large fees, but failed to uphold their end of agreements - a charge Hamid rejects.
“My brother ran the business from Rajana and Lahore, helping with student visas,” Hamid said of Majeed, who passed away seven years ago. “I never heard my brother cheating anyone.”
Javid is being hailed as the country's 'first ethnic minority' to hold the position of home secretary, which is viewed as a potential stepping stone before ascension to the prime ministership.
“We’re going to have a strategy in place that does something the previous home secretary set out last week when she made a statement to parliament – to ensure that we have an immigration policy that is fair, it treats people with respect, and with decency,” Javid announced last week. “That will be one of my most urgent tasks, to make sure that we look carefully at the policy and make sure it achieves just that – fairness.”
(PHOTO: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)