A husband and wife fraud team from West London were jailed last week for manufacturing and supplying false passports and identity documents following an investigation by the UK Border Agency (UKBA).
Bent passports and documents were sent from Thailand in the post!
Abdelkrim Khetib, 50, and Hayat Moulay-Khetib, 46, Algerian national living at Forge Close in Hayes, were arrested in September 2012 after a package containing blank counterfeit Portuguese passports and counterfeit holographic designs for use in passports was intercepted by Border Force officers at Coventry international postal hub.
Border Force officers raided their home and discovered further packages containing fake Dutch and French passports, laminated passport pages, counterfeit Schengen visas and bogus official stamps.
The couple were caught red handed, ‘bang to rights’ with all the required evidence in their house.
The team found evidence of money transfers made to Thailand, where the packages had originated from, and evidence the counterfeit documents were being sold to illegal immigrants in the UK in order to create the impression that they had right to remain and work in the EU.
At the hearing at Isleworth crown court on 30 November 2012 the couple admitted charges of possessing false identity documents, contrary to the Identity Documents Act 2010, while Abdelkrim Khetib admitted an additional charge of possessing prohibited articles or material contrary to the Identity Documents Act 2010.
On Friday 4 January Abdelkrim Khetib was sentenced to 3 years and 4 months in prison, while his wife was jailed for 8 months.
Andy Shortland, West London criminal and financial investigation team, UK Border Agency said:
‘There is no doubt in my mind that had this couple not been stopped these documents would have ended up being used to create false identities, or help people work, claim benefits or stay illegally in the UK.
‘My officers worked closely with colleagues at Border Force and the UKBA’s National Document Fraud Unit to bring this case to court and, ultimately, put these criminals behind bars.’
Stephen Jones, Coventry international postal hub, Border Force said:
‘Border Force officers are on alert to prevent things like counterfeit passports and documents entering the UK, as well as illegal drugs, weapons and counterfeit goods.
‘Their vigilance was key to this criminal couple being stopped in their tracks.’
The UK Border Agency’s West London criminal and financial investigation team is a specialist unit of police officers seconded from the Metropolitan Police working alongside our warranted officers to investigate organised immigration crime.
Last year, UKBA officers arrested 17 people as part of a nationwide operation targeting suspected bogus weddings between non-EU migrants and EU citizens designed to gain Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK.
The UKBA said that anyone with information about immigration offenders should report crime on this website, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Cynthia Barker of Immigration Advisers Bison Management warns that migrants seeking immigration advice should only consult an OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner) registered immigration adviser or qualified lawyer who deals with immigration cases.
The OISC regulates advisers, who must be qualified and keep up to date with changes by carrying out regular CPD and training.
Fake advisers and con artists who rip off migrants should be reported to the OISC and Police.
Unfortunately the Police will usually refer complaints to the OISC (which appears to have limited recourses to investigate these criminals) as they say it’s an ‘immigration’ or ‘OISC’ matter. But many of these cases involve blatant fraud or obtaining money by deception, which are crimes that should be dealt with by the Police.
Immigration fraudsters have been known to continue to operate and take money from unsuspecting migrants for several years before being brought to justice.
If you are a visa overstayer, or need any immigration advic,e or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Tier 2, Tier 4, applying for university if your college has closed down, Visa, ILR, Settlement, Citizenship, Dependant Visa or an appeal against a UK Border Agency or British Embassy refusal, or if you have been waiting for a reply from the Home Office for longer than a year, please email:
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