South East Wales

Investigation launched into Cardiff college fraud claims

Friary House in Cardiff
Image caption West London Vocational and Training College provided courses at Friary House

An education watchdog has launched an investigation into alleged fraud at a Cardiff college and its sister campus in London.

It follows an investigation by BBC Wales' Week In Week Out into the West London Vocational Training College.

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) said it would look at "academic standards and quality".

The college's owner, Bharat Bageja, has denied knowing of any wrongdoing in the recruitment of students.

A report will be published in the spring.

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Media captionKazi Shajahan was covertly filmed saying students could "make any certificate" and they would not be challenged

BBC Wales understands South Wales Police officers executed a search warrant at the college on Greyfriars Road on Friday and a number of items were seized, including computers and paperwork.

As part of the BBC's undercover investigation, a reporter, posing as a student, was offered a loan at the private college using fake qualifications.

The college, based on Greyfriars Road, has nearly 100 IT and business students.

Those on Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) can receive up to £17,000 a year in loans and grants, which will only be repaid when they earn more than £21,000 annually.

The investigation prompted the suspension of payments to the college and its Cardiff students.

A South Wales Police spokesman said: "To date, the investigation team has interviewed two previous employees of the college and have visited the college."

Image caption College principal Dr Manoj Kumar has been removed from his position

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