Ten people are being held by Border Agency officers after an immigration swoop at a Leeds college.
The members of staff at Leeds Professional College, Nelson House on George Mann Road were arrested on suspicion of immigration offences early yesterday morning.
Officers from the agency’s Criminal and Financial Investigation Team found just two students on site during the raid, when records showed their should have been 138.
They made four arrests at the college just after 9am and six more at separate residential addresses in South and West Yorkshire.
Those arrested include eight Pakistani men and a British man and woman who are now being quizzed.
Adrian Watkins, from the UK Border Agency said: “Today we have arrested ten individuals who we believe are part of an organised crime group involved in systematic breaches of immigration law via this college. These individuals have now been taken into custody for questioning.”
He added that the college is suspected of charging students - mainly from Pakistan - thousands of pounds for admission into the UK on student visas. Students then fail to turn up to classes and many work illegally or disappear into the system.
Mr Watkins said: “At the moment registered with the college are approximately 350 students.
“We’re appealing for anyone who currently attend the college or any students who had previously attended the college to come forward, likewise any ex-teachers from the college, and any information they provide will be treated with confidentiality.”
Anyone who has information should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/.