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Jockey who ran illegal immigration scheme faces jail

Swindon Crown CourtSwindon Crown CourtA jockey who ran a business arranging for illegal immigrants to come into the country has been warned he is facing a lengthy jail term.

Ronald Wali pleaded guilty to a string of offences when he appeared before a judge in Swindon alongside his wife Bharati, who denied all wrongdoing.

And after the 45-year-old, who worked at Beckhampton House Stables, admitted a string of offences prosecutors said they would not seek a trial on Mrs Wali, 41.

When police and Border Agency officers raided his home he was found to have signed headed notepaper bearing the details of various racehorse trainers.

Investigators also discovered he had retained the passports of some of the people he had got into the UK using bogus paperwork.

Wali, of Curtis Street, Swindon, pleaded guilty to ten counts of assisting unlawful immigration to a member state.

He also admitted possessing articles for use in fraud and providing an immigration service when not qualified to do so.

Between the start of 2014 and March this year he had headed notepaper from various racing yards purporting to be signed by people who were authorised to do so.

And he also had headed letters which appeared to be signed and contained records of sponsor numbers and access to the UK Border Agency points based assessment.

He pleaded not guilty to five counts of assisting unlawful immigration, which will be left to lie on file, and Bharati denied all 17 allegations.

Robert Duval, prosecuting, said "As a result of these pleas being entered we have considered whether it is in the public interest to pursue Bharati Wali to trial, her having pleaded not guilty,

"The basis of prosecution against her was the fact that a credit card in her name was being used to pay for various sponsorship applications which form the substance of counts one to 15.

"As far as counts 16 and 17 she was named as sole director of a company which was principally involved in frauds which form a basis of this case.

"Having considered the case, the dishonesty aspect, him to act alone, him to use her card, we feel it is not necessary for the Crown to pursue Mrs Wali to trial."

Mr Duval said that it was not possible to find out how much money her husband made from the fraudulent enterprise.

He said there were references to deductions being made from the wages of some of the workers who had been brought into the country.

Because of their immigration status, he said it was not known where they are and if they were still in the country.

Keith Hadrill, for Ronald Wali, said his client, who is from India, had been in Britain for 17 years and has UK citizenship.

He first lived in the Newmarket racing centre, working as a jockey with the proper credentials, before coming to Swindon a few years ago where he lives with his family.

The couple have two daughters, one aged 23 who is married and lives in the area and a 19-year-old who is still at home.

An earlier hearing was told he works for Roger Charlton at his Beckhampton House Stables, near Marlborough.

That hearing was told that the British Horseracing Authority would not give him a permit to ride until the outcome of the case, but he can still work for a trainer.

Judge Peter Blair QC adjourned the case to Wednesday June 16 so the probation service compile a pre-sentence report on him and released him on conditional bail.

He said "Mr Wali, you must be back here for sentence in, it will probably be, three or four weeks' time.

"You must co-operate with the probation services who will be in touch. You must be under no misapprehension that prison is the likely sentence."

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  • Silbury-Sunset---10-06-08-----07
  • Marlborough-2013-04-18 St Peters
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  • IMG 9097
  • Town-Hall-2011-05-03 08-