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Immigration: Georgia

Volume 706: debated on Wednesday 14 January 2009

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 22 July (WA 263), what investigations are being carried out by the United Kingdom Border Agency into the identity of the person known as Teona; and when the investigation will be complete. [HL157]

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 22 July (WA 263), what investigations are being carried out by the United Kingdom Border Agency into allegations of contact between the embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, and the person known as Teona. [HL158]

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 22 July (WA 263), what investigations are being carried out into the availability of evidence of involvement of organisations in Georgia in the handling of illegal visa applications. [HL159]

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 22 July (WA 264), what action they are taking following the reports by Zuram Kachlishvili on alleged illegal activity in United Kingdom entry visa applications in Tbilisi, Georgia. [HL160]

The report by Zuram Kachlishvili which was published in a Georgian newspaper alleges that a person known as Teona is involved in the preparation of fraudulent applications for UK visas and that her Georgian contacts who work in the visa section at the British Embassy in Tbilisi are being paid to facilitate the issue of visas.

Senior embassy officials have confirmed that they had no prior knowledge of these allegations. They have contacted the newspaper in an attempt to identify the applications concerned, and the matter has been passed to the UK Border Agency's International Group (Operational Integrity Section) for further investigation.