A MAN who abused immigration laws and filed fraudulent applications for Chinese migrants has been order to pay back £1 million in ill-gotten gains.

In a hearing at Bradford Crown Court last week, Bing Gong, 45, was ordered to pay back the sum after running an unlicensed immigration advisory service.

Financial investigators from Immigration Enforcement's Criminal and Financial Investigation (CFI) team and the North East Region Asset Recovery Team applied for a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The Recorder of Bradford Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC ordered the money must be paid back within three months, or a further six year prison sentence will be imposed.

Gong, of Farrar Lane, Adel, Leeds, came to the UK in 2002 as a student from China, and after gaining British citizenship in April 2009, rapidly built up a property portfolio in and around Leeds, founded on an unlicensed immigration advisory service trading as Law Direct Associates Ltd.

He filed fraudulent applications with the Home Office for Chinese migrants seeking entry to, or to extend their stay in, the UK.

Gong was jailed for seven years in December 2016 for conspiracy to defraug the Home Office by creating and submitting false documents as part of applications to secure entry to the UK, extend stays and to achieve permanent status in the UK.

Following his conviction, a wide-ranging investigation began, resulting in the confiscation order being made.

David Magrath, from the Immigration Enforcement CFI team, said: “Gong clearly thought he could profit from abusing the UK’s immigration laws but he will now have to pay back money made from his criminality.

“The ruling sends a clear message that our investigations do not stop once we have secured a conviction. Where individuals have profited financially from breaking the law, our teams will rigorously pursue them through the courts to strip them of their profits.”

Ramona Senior of the North East Regional Asset Recovery Team (RART), which investigated the financial aspects of the case against Gong on behalf of the Home Office, added: “Gong lived a life of luxury on the back of his criminal activity and it is therefore only right that the proceeds of his crimes be taken away from him.

“Members of the community saw him living that life and now they can see that he has a massive amount of money to pay back.

"If he doesn’t pay the money he will face an extra six years in jail. But that additional jail time won’t clear the debt. That debt will never be cleared until it is paid in full.

“The hearing is the culmination of a detailed investigation by the team.”

Anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact gov.uk/report-immigration-crime or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.