A CROOKED solicitor who helped evil "Snakehead" gangsters to smuggle hundreds of Chinese asylum into the country was struck off last Tuesday.

Titus Miranda, 58, ran his firm as a "factory of lies" coaching migrants on how to convince the authorities that they were the victims of religious persecution.

He handed out information packs on Falun Gong, a religion banned in China, to people smuggled into the UK by the Snakeheads.

The asylum seekers then used the same template story, claiming they had been victimised for their faith.

Miranda, who ran south London firm Titus Miranda Solicitors, would be paid £70 a time for each bogus asylum claim.

He was jailed for five years after a trial at Middlesex Guidhall Crown Court in 2003.

Miranda is serving his sentence in HMP Bluneston, in Suffolk, and did not attend today's hearing at the Solicitor's Disciplinary Tribunal.

Geoffrey Williams, QC, for the Law Society, said: "What the tribunal is looking at is wholly corrupt activities by a dishonest solicitor who has brought disgrace on his profession.

"This is just about the most serious conduct unbeffiting imaginable."

Richard Merz, prosecuting, had told the original trial: "Titus Miranda Solicitors was effectively a factory for false stories and lies.

"The motive as far as Miranda was concerned was money," Mr Merz said.

Miranda was a key contact for the Chinese people smuggling gangs.

He carried out the scam with his common law wife Jessica Jin, 23, at the firm's office in Camberwell.

The firm's translator, Chinese asylum seeker Long Lee, 32, had absconded but was tried and convicted in his absence.

After a nine-week trial, Miranda, Jin and Lee w re convicted by a jury of conspiracy to defraud the Home Office between January 1, 1999 and March, 3, 2002.

Miranda and Jin, both of Hollyrood Avenue, Harrow, were jailed for five years and two years respectively.

Long Lee, last living in Thamesmead, was given five years in his absence and £100,000 he lodged as a security was seized by the court.

A judge recommended their deportation back to China.

The case had only focused on 100 individual cases, a "small percentage of a considerable number" of asylum applications.

Singaporean Miranda still owes more than £300,000 to the tax authorities.

Miranda, a lawyer since 1991, had asked for today's hearing to be adjourned while he appeals against conviction and sentence.

But kicking him out of the legal profession, Chairman William Hartley said: "This is a very serious offence and Mr Williams has quite rightly said this brings grave dishonour on the profession.

"We have no hesitation in striking off Miranda from the Roll of Solicitors."

Miranda was also ordered to pay £2,085.63 in costs .