Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Girls From Ipanema Needed to Apply

For visa extensions in England. Though their boyfriends aren't so welcome:

The Home Office is to investigate allegations that immigration officials operated a "sex for visas" scam and ignored vital security checks.

Anthony Pamnani, a former administration officer at the Lunar House immigration processing centre in Croydon, south London, told The Sun newspaper that women were helped to stay in the UK in return for sex.

He also alleged that security checks were lax, making it easier for potential terrorists to sneak into the country.

According to the newspaper, Mr Pamnani, 23, alleged that attractive women applicants were seen first at the centre, which deals with 300,000 visa and asylum applications a year

"One girl came in and told us an admin officer had visited her flat and they had slept together. She got indefinite leave to stay," he said.

Brazilian women were given longer stays in the country than their boyfriends for no reason and passport pictures of women considered "ugly" were pinned up for the amusement of male staff.

The paper reported Mr Pamnani as saying: "Brazilian girls were treated best of all. If male and female migrants came in to extend their visas, the guy would get one year and the girl two - even if both had the same level of paperwork.

"The girl would only have to smile, bend over the desk and she'd get a longer stay."

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