Mehboob Jilani, 33, and Bilal, 35, Jailed for 6 Years for English Language Test Scam in Manchester

Mehboob Jilani, 33, of Bloomfield Close, Cheadle Hulmeand Muhammad Bilal, 35, of Bottomley Side, Swinton, Manchester jailed for total 6 years, for conspiracy to commit English language test fraud at Preston Crown Court.

Both Jilani and Bilal were managers at Secure English Language Test (SELT) centres when they carried out the scam. Both oversaw systematic cheating on English language tests at colleges in Manchester.

They arranged individuals who were fluent in English language to repeatedly sit SELT exams on behalf of foreign nationals to which were further used in applications for student visas or jobs.

Individuals were being charged up to £750 for a test which ETS offered to the public online for £180.

Evidence of cheating first surfaced when ETS (Educational Testing Services) inspectors carried out unannounced visits at the colleges in 2013.

During an unannounced visit at the Eccles college in June 2013, where the tests were being overseen by Bilal, inspectors noted one student appearing to use a translation programme during the speaking section of a test.

Later those colleges were raided as part of a UK-wide investigation into suspected abuse of the English language testing system.

Both were found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud on April 3 at Burnley Crown Court.

Jilani was jailed for four years after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud while Bilal was jailed for two years after being found guilty of the same charge.