Jagraj Singh Mand, from Dudley Port, Tipton pleaded guilty to charges of knowingly employing 38 illegal workers as well as acquiring and possessing criminal property. He was sentenced yesterday (30th January) at Birmingham Crown Court.
In October 2016, Home Office Immigration Enforcement Criminal & Financial Investigation (CFI) officers visited the site after a tip-off. During the operation, immigration officers identified three Indian nationals working on site who were not entitled to work in the UK. All three were arrested.
Mand, aged 43, was arrested on suspicion of assisting unlawful immigration.
Investigators subsequently found that Mand had supplied 38 illegal workers, all Indian nationals, to the Carillion site between 24th April 2016 and 19th October 2016; three were arrested during the site visit and 35 others were identified through further checks. His business, Magnet Site Services, has since been dissolved. His other registered businesses, Taj Construction Services and Contract Construction, have also both been dissolved.
Magnet Site Services supplied the Midland Metropolitan Hospital development with concrete labourers and general manual workers. As he directly employed the workers, Mand was responsible for checking they had the right to work in the UK.
As well as the five-year prison sentence, the judge also ordered that Mand be disqualified from acting as a company director for four years.
After Mand’s arrest, his home was searched and two ledgers were recovered which showed that he was taking a commission from the gross pay of each worker. This income was not declared to HM Revenue & Customs. The most recent ledger, started in October 2016, contained only details of the workers who were legally present with a right to work, omitting those who were not. Officers believed this record had been started shortly before the visit from Immigration Enforcement, after Magnet Site Services received a letter from the construction site managers requesting assurance that right to work document checks had taken place on all workers.
CFI officer Andy Radcliffe said: “Mand was fully aware of the illegal immigration status of a considerable portion of his employees. Once he suspected that authorities were closing in, he went to some lengths to fabricate ledgers and cover up this illicit side of his operation.
“Employing illegal workers goes hand in hand with exploitation and the criminals in charge are making money off the backs of vulnerable individuals. That is why we are determined to clamp down on this type of offence and will not hesitate to act where there is evidence of criminality.”