The UK Border Agency has published details of a man, in the UK illegally, who has been jailed this week for two-and-a-half years for stealing another man’s identity and pretending to be him for 12 years.
The report continues:
Sukhjiwan Singh Burham, a 37-year-old Indian national of Erica Close in Slough, was arrested by UK Border Agency officers during a raid on a catering firm in Southall, west London on 2 April 2009.
He claimed to be a British national named Avtar Singh, and a later search of his property by immigration officers uncovered a marriage certificate and driving licence in that name. However, they also found letters and other documentation in his true name.
UK Border Agency checks revealed that the real Avtar Singh is a British citizen living in Canada, who was interviewed by officials at the British High Commission to establish his identity.
Burham later admitted that he had entered the country illegally in 1996, and had paid £3,000 for an illegally obtained United Kingdom passport. He had then used that passport to enable his wife, whom he married in India in 2003, and three children to enter the country.
On 16 June he pleaded guilty to fraud, deception and a series of immigration offences at Reading Crown Court. He was jailed for two-and-a-half years, with an automatic recommendation that he be deported.
Burham’s wife and children are now awaiting removal from the United Kingdom.
Gareth Redmond, area director for the UK Border Agency, said:
‘This conviction shows how seriously the UK Border Agency takes criminals who use false or fake identity documents.
‘We now have teams of specialist police and immigration officers working side by side to investigate exactly this kind of crime. This is another example of their success.
‘We will continue to work shoulder-to-shoulder with the police and other enforcement partners to identify criminal activity and remove those who have no right to be in this country.’
Burham was one of nine people arrested during a UK Border Agency enforcement operation at KMB Catering in Southall. The firm was warned that they face a fine of up to £90,000 for employing the men without carrying out the correct right-to-work checks.
Employers can be fined up to £10,000 per illegal worker under the new ‘Civil Penalty’ system.
Cynthia Barker of Immigration Adviser, Bison UK, said:
“Employers are advised to carry out regular file checks, or use a specialist vetting service provided by a qualified immigration adviser.”
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