Three people were shot as a new wave of sectarian rioting erupted in east Belfast.
Last night, houses were set on fire by petrol bombs and families moved out of a loyalist district after they came under attack from nationalists across a peaceline in the Short Strand.
Police said a 39-year-old man and two 15-year-old youths were shot and injured as gunfire was directed at Cluan Place in the Protestant Albertbridge Road area.
Progressive Unionist Party leader David Ervine, who was at the scene when the violence flared, said the man was taken to hospital after being hit in the back and lower leg.
The East Belfast MLA said he had been told the man’s condition was “ill but comfortable”.
Mr Ervine added that the two youths had suffered bullet wounds to their lower legs.
As blast bombs continued to rain down, Mr Ervine said: “These people have gone through a weekend of terror.”
Residents forced to flee their homes, including several pensioners, were taken to other houses and church halls.
Police said trouble erupted when stones and missiles were thrown into Cluan Place from the Short Strand, a Catholic enclave in Protestant east Belfast.
Later petrol bombs were lobbed at loyalist homes. Two houses were set alight, with fire crews being called to extinguish the blaze.
The disorder followed several nights of fighting between rival mobs in east Belfast which resulted in 10 police officers being injured.
Mr Ervine said the area was extremely volatile and called for more police to be drafted into the Short Strand.
“There are no police resources being put into the nationalist side; if they were they couldn’t do what they are doing,” he claimed.
Earlier, rival mobs clashed during sectarian fighting in the Whitewell Road area of north Belfast.
Police and soldiers came under attack from rival loyalist and nationalist factions.
Up to 100 people who gathered on each side in the Arthur Bridge area hurled stones, bottles, paint and petrol bombs at security forces trying to separate them.
The disorder continued in the nearby Gunnell Hill and Serpentine Road areas, with gangs fighting running battles.
Two people arrested and charged with riotous behaviour were due in court this morning. No injuries to security forces were reported.
Joe O’Donnell, a Belfast Sinn Fein councillor for the Short Strand area, insisted that loyalists had put Catholic homes under siege from gun and blast bomb attack.
“I understand there have been shots fired from here tonight, but there was gunfire into here first,” he said last night.
“We stood and watched 40 or 50 semi-uniformed loyalist paramilitaries march down and line up on the Albertbridge Road.
“I’m now standing with 150 people who have been evicted from their homes.”
Mr O’Donnell said houses in the Short Strand had been decimated.
“This area is completely surrounded by a wall and 70,000 unionists and yet we are the ones targeting them.
“I’m standing here and it looks like Beirut.”
Archive for bbc young british and angry
Three people were shot as a new wave of sectarian rioting erupted in east Belfast.
A Home Office-approved adviser and his wife who made more than £1million helping scores of immigrants illegally remain in Britain as part of a visa scam were jailed yesterday.
When police raided the family home of Vijay and Bhawna Sorthia, they found bundles of cash totalling £330,000 hidden in a cupboard as well as documents relating to dozens of individuals they had unlawfully assisted.
Mr Sorthia, 35, who ran immigration advisory service Migration Gurus from a small office in North West London, was yesterday imprisoned for 10 years for his part in the lucrative plot.
He first came to Britain as a student in 2000, but then illegally gained a work permit in 2004 after claiming he was employed by a sham company.
His 31-year-old wife, who said she worked as a cleaner at his office, was given a 15 month jail term for her ‘subordinate role’ in the scam.
The pair, who are both Indian nationals and have three young children, will face deportation once their sentences have been served.
As an accredited adviser with the Offices of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), which is linked to the Home Office, Mr Sorthia was able to assist individuals with claims for asylum, as well as immigration, residence and citizenship applications.
In its advertising, Migration Gurus touted itself as ‘a leading Immigration and Overseas Education consultancy’ which had ‘assisted hundreds of individuals’ enter or remain in Britain.
During an-18 month period between 2008 and 2010, the couple helped more than 160 clients illegally gain a visa by providing them with false documents alleging they were highly-skilled migrants.
It is estimated they charged between £3,000 to £5,000 each time.
But in reality, the individuals were already in Britain as foreign students, or migrant workers employed as low-skilled labour at supermarkets, betting shops or petrol stations, who would not have qualified for a new visa under the current immigration criteria.
In a bid to bypass Home Office rules, the couple were using up to 70 sham companies to provide clients with payslips and wage payments which gave the appearance they were earning much larger sums, making them eligible to remain.
Sentencing the couple at Isleworth Crown Court, Judge Andrew McDowall said Mr Sorthia’s actions risked ‘undermining’ Britain’s immigration controls and ‘eroding public confidence’ that migrants had arrived lawfully.
He warned: ‘During difficult economic times, it becomes easier for those who are motivated by racial motives to start casting aspersions against those that are properly and legitimately in the country by trying to paint everyone of that ethnic group as tainted in some way, over the wrongdoings done by a limited number.’
The court heard that following their arrest in May 2010 by investigators from the UK Border Agency, the couple sold their home in Stanmore, North West London, and transferred £466,000 out of the country, before fleeing to India on fraudulent passports.
They returned to Britain in the July 2011, but only after taking a £21,000 holiday across the United States, stopping off in New York, the Grand Canyon, Atlanta, Louisiana and San Francisco.
In total, the jury were told Mr Sorthia helped 166 people gain visas illegally over an 18-month period.
But the real number of migrants who gained a visa unlawfully is likely to have run into the hundreds, with investigators dealing with the case estimating the criminal proceeds from the scam could have netted the pair up to £1.2million.
Fifteen clients who benefitted from the scam have already been convicted and sentenced to between eight and 10 months in prison. Of these, 14 have already been deported.
Senior UKBA investigating officer Robert Coxhead said: ‘Vijay and Bhawna Sorthia knowingly flouted the UK’s immigration laws.
‘They ran a sophisticated scam designed to help people who would otherwise have no right to be here stay in the UK.
‘The amount of cash found at their home illustrates how lucrative this was, and we will now begin the process of stripping them of those assets using the Proceeds of Crime Act.
‘The couple will also face deportation after they have served their sentences.’
The pair were both found guilty of fraud charges and removing criminal property, while Mr Sorthia was also guilty of obtaining leave to remain by deception.
A confiscation hearing to recover any money the couple made from the scam will take place later this year.
THE young leader of a drugs gang which flooded the university town of Aberystwyth with heroin was jailed for seven-and-a-half years yesterday.
Haroon Amir, 20, who because of his age will serve the first few months of his sentence in youth custody, commanded a network of dealers, Robin Rouch told Swansea Crown Court.
The close friends, both from Wolverhampton, had denied charges of possessing heroin with intent to supply and money laundering. They were convicted earlier this year by a jury.
The court heard Amir hit on the idea of supplying heroin from Wolverhampton to Aberystwyth where previously there had been a “paucity of supply”.
Mr Rouch said Amir kept a close watch on the drugs operation.
A major Dyfed-Powys Police operation began after several people doing heroin “street deals” were arrested in cars or on trains coming to Wales from Wolverhampton. They had all been heading for Aberystwyth.
Mr Rouch said: “It soon became clear that a new gang had moved into town.”
The court heard that cash from street deals in Aberystwyth was deposited into accounts at the Lloyds TSB and Abbey National branches in the town.
Then, after texts or phone calls, “almost simultaneously” the same amounts would be withdrawn in bank branches in Wolverhampton.
Other members of the gang are due to be sentenced later this week but Judge Huw Davies QC said yesterday he was satisfied it was Amir who played the leading role with Shah having an “operational management” role.
He described Shah, who was arrested in the foyer of Aberystwyth’s Marine Hotel in February 2010, as Amir’s chief lieutenant.
The judge said Shah stopped his involvement in drugs after the arrest but Amir continued to lead the supply operation after his arrest around the same time.
Judge Davies said Amir was “undeterred” by the arrest and he began “bringing in substitutes” for suppliers and other who were arrested. He said it was not until June 2010 that Amir’s activities in Aberystwyth were finally brought to an end.
The judge said the supply of heroin had a “pernicious effect” on the community in Aberystwyth, a university town.
He said: “The damage done by heroin all too often is damage done to young people, marking their lives for a very long time.”
The court heard both defendants had histories of possession of cannabis.
The judge said as part of the operation, a woman went to Aberystwyth from Wolverhampton by train and was arrested with 134 £20 street deals of heroin. And a man was arrested taking the same route by train with 181 street deals of heroin on him.
Mr Rouch said Amir travelled to Aberystwyth when police began arresting street dealers.
The court heard that since being given bail after his arrest, Shah’s character had changed and he was a hard-working employee at his uncle’s restaurant in Wolverhampton where he had risen to the role of manager.
“It was not our fault but I don’t want to talk about it,” said Hasmi. Whose fault was it?
Two shop-owners were today fined for selling chocolate cake – which had been sprinkled with human faeces.
A horrified customer ate the foul-smelling gateaux but noticed that it didn’t taste or smell “quite right” and handed the cake to public health scientists.
The analysts soon established that the sweet treat was covered in faeces and legal proceedings against the shop owners were started.
The pair – who ran the Italiano Pizzeria in Roath, Cardiff – admitted the charge but did not say how the chocolate cake was contaminated.
The takeaway is a favourite with late-night revellers and students living around the takeaway close to Cardiff University. […]
Hasmi, of Roath, Cardiff, and Yadgari, of Adamsdown, Cardiff, were each fined £1,500 and ordered to pay £200 costs.
After the case Hasmi said: “It was not our fault but I don’t want to talk about it.
“I’m not working in the food industry anymore. I want to do something else.