Friday, September 28, 2007
TV Station Raided...
STRUCK-OFF LAWYER exposed by the Manchester Evening News is to be quizzed after seven men were arrested in an illegal immigration swoop on the TV company he runs.
The seven were picked up at the studios of an Islamic station in Manchester city centre headed by disgraced Liaqat Malik.The offices of DM Digital TV, DM Islam TV and DM Digital World TV were raided by immigration officers in a series of dawn swoops.
Five of those found at the studio in a five storey mill building in Turner Street were sleeping fully dressed in two bedrooms.
All are suspected of being illegal immigrants from Pakistan.
Two houses in Cheetham Hill were also searched as part of the operation by the North West Border and Immigration Agency.According to the television stations' website the chairman of the company is "famous lawyer, community leader and brain behind the first British Pakistani Channel from Manchester, Dr Liaqat Malik".
Dr Malik is listed as manager and company secretary of one station, manager of a second and company director of a third, according to Companies House records.Investigation The 47-year-old father-of-two was struck off by a Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal in July 2004 after an MEN undercover investigation revealed he had a criminal record for dishonesty and had previously been officially disciplined and banned from practising as a solicitor.
As part of our operation we were also able to show he was prepared to help a self-confessed bogus asylum seeker.
We also spoke to a refugee who paid out thousands of pounds for advice he could have been given free elsewhere.
Yesterday as the raids took place, Mr Malik - who was also found to have forged qualifications to get on a university course - was not at the TV station offices and refused to comment from his Rochdale home.
He was not arrested as part of yesterday's operation codenamed Europteria, but is expected to be quizzed about the immigration status of his staff during the course of the investigation.
On the television company building sign is a picture of the "Nayamat Mosque" with the caption: "Connecting Manchester to the World." A notice on one of the doors also advertises a "property shop, Ayurvedic clinic, Rehani Clinic, Homeopathic Clinic and a TV Shop."
The channels broadcast programmes including religious lectures by prominent Muslim Scholars; the Halal Eating Guide; guide to prayers and Islamic documentaries; cartoons for children; programmes about religious places; a women's affairs programme; the "Live Fatwah" which includes "religious injunctions on various issues" plus shows on prominent Muslim achievers and mosques.
It lists Dr Liaqat's son Irfan as "in charge of musical programming" and boasts audiences across 166 countries. Advertising prices listed on the site range from £600 to £9,500 plus vat.