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Mail on Sunday News Prepaid Card - Money Card

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Mail on Sunday News Prepaid Money Card

Mail on Sunday News Prepaid Card is a prepaid cash card to help immigrants transfer up to £5.6bn a year out of Britain

By DANIEL BOFFEY and JO THORNHILL -
The Mail On Sunday 23rd March 2007

Immigrants are being offered cash cards by a Labour donor hoping to profit from a rush by workers to transfer billions of pounds out of the UK.

Iranian-born Ali Sarikhani, a friend of Tessa Jowell's husband David Mills, has set up the Tuxedo Blue Diamond card for people without bank accounts who have money to send abroad to friends or family.

Cash 'loaded' on to the cards will be accessible to duplicate cardholders in 900 locations across 100 countries worldwide.

But the launch of the scheme raises fresh doubts over the Government's claims that immigration boosts the country's gross domestic product by £4billion a year.

An annual £5.6billion worth of funds is transferred by immigrants out of the country, according to figures provided by the Department For International Development.

Andrew Green, of MigrationWatch UK, said: "The main beneficiaries are the immigrants, who are able to send home about £10million a day, not the host nation. It is a loss when that money leaves and we have to buy foreign capital to make it up. Freedom of movement of capital is right and proper but it is a loss that is often overlooked."

The new cards will be sold on buses and even ferries as migrants enter the country looking for work. Tuxedo is investing £5.1million in the scheme, advertising across a range of ethnic TV channels and in publications across Asia and Eastern Europe as it targets the lucrative immigrant market.

Migrants will be able to load their cards with up to £2,500 and then pay bills with the card, withdraw cash, send up to £200 a day abroad or order duplicate cards to be used for withdrawals by friends and family from cash machines abroad.

To set up a Tuxedo card, a UK-based customer need only provide a photocopy of a passport of any nationality. No bank account or credit check is required.

Mr Sarikhani and his fellow directors hope to make money by selling the cash cards for £9.95 and charging up to £1.50 in the UK for cash machine withdrawals and £2.25 abroad. Purchases with the card have a 2.95 per cent fee. Click to visit the Mail On Sunday website.

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