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Last Updated: Monday, 17 November, 2003, 19:19 GMT
Gang admit to people smuggling
Five men have admitted their part in smuggling thousands of illegal immigrants into Britain.

The men, two from Birmingham and three from London, spent about 13 years charging up to 8,000 to secure immigrants a new life in the West, London's Harrow Court heard on Monday.

At its height, the gang were bringing in up to ten people a week.

Sarwan Deo, 43, of Grafton Road, Handsworth, Birmingham and Povytar Rai, 35, of Wheaton Vale, Ladywood, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to smuggle illegal immigrants into the UK.

Sucha Deo, 44, from Station Road Chadwell Heath, east London, Jarnail Saini, 38, who lives in Bittefeld, Germany and Sohan Kalyan, the gang's 49-year-old "minder" of Corby Close, Bedford also pleaded guilty to the same charge.

The motivation behind the gang's activities was neither humanitarian nor altruistic. Rather it was financial
John Bevan QC, prosecuting
The court heard everything from "doctored" passports, visas, and even English lessons were provided to "clients" in a bid to make their trip as successful as possible.

But if they were unlucky enough to be caught, free legal representation was thrown in at no extra charge.

Although the dates on the indictment ran from 1 January 2001 to 1 October 2002, John Bevan, QC, prosecuting, said there was evidence to indicate the gang had been in business for well over a decade.

He told the court their operation was as "dishonest as it was sophisticated" and was "one of the largest" of its kind Britain had seen.

"Its success demanded on what might have neutrally been described as, unorthodox practices operated from within the Indian Consulate General in Birmingham," he said.

"The motivation behind the gang's activities was neither humanitarian nor altruistic. Rather it was financial."

The five men are expected to be sentenced on Tuesday.

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