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Zimbabwean lawyers exploiting asylum seekers in UK - ZimDiaspora

by ZimDiaspora Crime Reporter
17 May 2012 | 5265 Views
Many Zimbabwean lawyers practising in the United Kingdom are exploiting desperate asylum seekers, demanding exorbitant charges of up to £2 300.00 for cases legally pegged by the British Government at £450.00, The ZimDiaspora reported after a month-long investigations.

As a result, most Zimbabwean asylum seekers are now opting for non-Zimbabwean lawyers such as Somalian, Indian and Asian lawyers.

An asylum seeker who was later granted a refugee status said: "A Zimbabwe lawyer charged me £2 000, but when I shopped around I got a Somalian lawyer who charged me £400 for the same case and I was indeed granted asylum in the United Kingdom. Asylum seekers must be on the lookout for these greedy Zimbabwean lawyers who want to be rich overnight".

Following public outcry, this online newspaper launched investigations into the dreadful scandal that has shattered the Zimbabwean community in the UK.

We have since received a total of 33 emails from disgruntled, exploited asylum seekers. These emails have helped us construct a satanic database of scandalous lawyer.

While we had earlier promised to name and shame the scandalous lawyers, our legal experts have examined all the emails from the exploited asylum seekers and concluded that on this occasion we should with-hold the names of the crooked lawyers.

This is due to the fact that all asylum seekers requested anonymity hence our legal team have advised us to shield the names of the lawyers in question. However, we can reveal that most of these lawyers are scattered around the United Kingdom in cities such as Corby, Coventry, Middlesex (Wembley) Leeds, Luton, Birmingham, Manchester, Leicester and London.

We sensationally reveal that the lawyers target desperate failed asylum seekers to make a "bloody" quick buck, charging upfront fees of up to £2. 300.00. They take even hopeless cases without evidence for the sake of money. Moreso, in some cases they also demand sex after giving the desperate asylum seeker some false hope.

We can also reveal some shocking evidence of asylum seekers who had been raped by lawyers and threatened with deportation in the event they reported the crime.

A 26 year-old failed asylum seeker from Luton tearfully narrated to our news crew how she was bedded by a Zimbabwean lawyer who lured him into his friend's house under the pretext of helping her with her case.

"I paid this lawyer £600.00 and on top of that he raped me, yet he did not do anything with my case," the sobbing woman said.

We can also reveal that most asylum seekers interviewed claimed that the lawyers often take away their original documents and never return them back after demanding at least £2000.00. At the time of going on Press it could not be established why the lawyers often take away these documents.

"At times you feel it's like they are adding salt to an injury," the woman who is now living as an illegal immigrant said.

"As it is now, I cannot file a fresh claim as it is because the lawyer took away my passport, my birth certificate and my national identity card. I have since failed to recover them. If you persist they simply threat to deport you," she said.

The abuse of asylum seekers has reached unacceptable levels with one asylum seeker claiming she was verbally abused by a female lawyer in Coventry for dressing up "too smart".

"She accused me of trying to take away men from her work place, yet I was dressed normally," she said.

A Zimbabwean who assisted her mother in applying for political asylum in England said in an email:

l did not seek asylum but l had to do it for my mum so one of my friends advised me to contact certain lawyer, the service was horrendous, awful, we were treated like animals after l paid nearly √É‚Äö√Ǭ£2000,00 to make matters worse a day before going for 1st hearing that's when she told us she was not coming with us and had to sent someone else. On one occasion  l burst in to tears as l could not stand what she was saying to my mum and me in the end l left her and we looked for the Indian lawyers who charged us √É‚Äö√Ǭ£465,00 for the whole process.

A British Law Society official told The ZimDiaspora that such a practice was illegal and urged victims to report these lawyers.

The following are details to report rogue lawyers:

Telephone number 0300 555 0333 or e mail enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk, or write to PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ. If you are calling from overseas, please call +44 121 245 3050 and their minicom call is 0300 555 1777.

A concerned Zimbabwean emailed this reporter:

Dear Reporter, Are you aware that there are several failed asylum seekers in UK who are subjected to extortion and rape by some lawyers and sympathisers who threaten them with deportation should they resist or report.

The following email to us demonstrates the wickedness of the case.

Please hide my  id, I certainly had a hard time and cried my tears out when u had my appointment with (named female lawyer in Coventry), she had told me that they do legal aid and once I got there she manipulated 'me and told 'me I was going to be deported anyway. She talked to me like I was some little kid, honestly but I could see her talking nicely to her own people. I thought probably my sin was being Ndebele. She will not even pick her calls.  I went to see another lawyer (named) whopromised he will work on my claim and later demanded money, when I phoned he use to say we put priority to our clients who pays and that was it byee. Such a Shame that Zimbabwean lawyers in this to make money and they'll be hiding pretending to be Christians on Sundays, but God is watching them. I later decided to leave them they wasted my time.

Another victim from Luton wrote:

There is (named) in Luton who has been fleecing people who are vulnerable for a long time. He is even not a qualified lawyer and will not take any work on Legal aid even if he knows the people are so destitute. I have met a number of people who have come from him. He will make people pay first and does not explain what he is going to do. Please look at him closely. The other one is (named) in London and in Leeds there is (named) and a Mr (named) in Bradford.

Another  victim asylum seeker wrote an email to this reporter:

l lost √É‚Äö√Ǭ£750. l gave the lawyer my refusal letter as well as my folder which had all the paperwork from the Home Office. In that folder there was a copy of my Birth certificate and ID. He told me he was going to do a Fresh Claim for me and for him to start dealing with my case he told me to pay a deposit of √É‚Äö√Ǭ£250,00 that same day. As l was desperate I borrowed money from a friend and paid him, he told me that by the end of the evening he was going to e-mail me details of the Fresh Claim as well as the phone numbers of the Home Office for me to call and arrange an appointment to submit it. l checked my e-mail later at night, he had emailed me lots of stuff that l did not understand and there was no phone number. l emailed him the next day asking him to correct some of the things, there was no response. l kept on and on sending him emails phoning him and he did not answer my calls no reply my mails. After a month he sent me an email saying he has submitted my Fresh Claim and he is got a confirmation letter from the Home Office, but he cannot send me the letter until pay the balance is paid. l went to his house, he demanded cash first before giving me the letter, after giving him cash he told me that he couldn't find the letter as he had misplaced it. When l asked for my folder, he told me that he left in the Office he is going to post it to me.  l ended up writing to the Home Office myself. On the 23rd of January l received a letter from the Home Office asking me to come for an interview with my documents, l sent him an email to inform him and that l will be coming to collect my documents, he replied and said he will be going with me on that day. So l asked him if we could meet so he could tell me what sort of questions l should expect, he said to me will call me because he was driving coming from Church. He never rang me. After two days he sent me an e-mail demanding his remaining √É‚Äö√Ǭ£250 and said if l don't pay up he will be tempted to charge me money for coming with me to Birmingham for an interview. Again panicking a friend of mine deposited √É‚Äö√Ǭ£250 to his account. On the day of the interview he simply not turn up l rang and texted him but did not get any response from him. l went in without any documents and when asked l told the Home Office that my solicitor has got the copies and he is supposed to be attending with me. The Home Office showed me the letter that he wrote to them telling them that he was going to attend with me on the day of the interview and will be submitting the Fresh Claim. After the interview l sat outside for an hour but he did not turn up. After a week l rang him and he told me that he came after 1pm and he was told that they were not taking any submission of Fresh Claims that day, l asked him if he could send my documents back to me, and he told me that l will get them the next day. Till today he has not sent my documents.  I am worried about my documents. Please please l doesn't want my name to be mentioned please lm begging you.




The ZimDiaspora is urging asylum seekers who have fallen prey to these selfish lawyers to email our investigating reporter on atshuma@hotmail.com. We are still pursuing stories and experiences of asylum seekers under in the hands of rogue lawyers.



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