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Indian and Filipino passport forgery masterminds jailed | Immigration Matters

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Two foreign nationals were jailed last Friday for four years for running the largest ever passport forgery factory in the UK. 

Mandip Sharma from India and Brando Sibayan from the Philippines pleaded guilty at Leicester Crown Court to possession of equipment for making false identity documents. 

The pair were caught after officers from the UK Border Agency’s East Midlands office paid a routine visit to question Sibayan, aged 38, a suspected illegal immigrant, on 23 January at his home in Catherine Street, Leicester. 

Officers found eight boxes of laminated documents, passport covers and a laminating machine. One of the documents led officers to a house in Westbourne Street, Belgrave, Leicester. 

Officers brought in support from a joint team of police and immigration officers set up to tackle crime committed by foreign nationals in Leicestershire.

The team raided the Westbourne Street property later the same day and discovered 4,000 counterfeit passports for several European Union countries including the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. 

Guillotine machines, forgery stamps, driving licences, national insurance cards and other forms of identification were also found at the property, where an Indian national, Mr Mandip Sharma, aged 34, was caught at the house. 

The find was confirmed as the largest ever passport factory in the United Kingdom according to officers from the UK Border Agency’s National Documentation Fraud Unit who provided strong support to the investigation. 

Sharma and Sibayan were arrested and remanded into custody. They appeared at Leicester Crown Court this morning (Thursday 7 May). Both pleaded guilty and both were sentenced to four years imprisonment. 

The UK Border Agency will seek to deport both individuals back to their home countries when they have served their prison sentences. 

Andy Radcliffe, from the UK Border Agency’s foreign national crime team in Leicestershire, said: 

“We expect foreign nationals to play by the rules or we will take swift action. This case sends out a clear message that we will not hesitate to prosecute and deport those causing harm to communities. 

“Organised criminals provide forged passports to help illegal immigrants get jobs in the black economy or to obtain public services. 

“But identity cards for foreign nationals will prevent this sort of abuse in the future by locking individuals down to one identity through their facial image and fingerprints.” 

Detective Chief Inspector Donna Thomson, who heads the Operation Rebuttal team for Leicestershire Constabulary, said: 

“This operation demonstrates our commitment to tackle criminality involving foreign nationals. 

“Organised criminals stand to make a lot of money from the trade of fake documents. We are committed to working with the UK Border Agency to continue targeting these individuals. 

“Today’s sentence shows anyone who is thinking of committing this type of crime they will be brought before the courts and dealt with severely.” 

A spokesman for the Identity and Passport Service said: 

“The UK passport remains one of the most secure documents in the world. It contains a range of security measures designed to prevent and readily detect fraud and tampering. 

“The introduction of biometrics into passports has further strengthened the integrity of the document.”

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11 Responses to “Indian and Filipino passport forgery masterminds jailed”
Read them below or add one

  1. Myra Maesa says :

    Some Filipinos may commit crimes, some may commit mistakes, some may become too desperate and resort to unthinkable actions, but the worst crime and mistake is forgetting what county you came from, denying the color of your skin, being ashamed of the language you were born with and forgetting that wherever you are,you may have western surname, STILL WE WILL REMAIN A FILIPINO THROUGH AND THROUGH. Amoy adobo at sinigang pa rin ang hininga.

  2. Cheryl Santos says :

    Some Filipinos may commit crimes, some may commit mistakes, some may become too desperate and resort to unthinkable actions, but the worst crime and mistake is forgetting what county you came from, denying the color of your skin, being ashamed of the language you were born with and forgetting that wherever you are,you may have western surname, STILL WE WILL REMAIN A FILIPINO THROUGH AND THROUGH….amoy adobo at sinigang pa rin ang hininga.

  3. Carla Villacarlos says :

    All of you people are right except for one. It’s about this person commenting about somebody else’s grammar. You know what, it doesn’t really matter as long as the message is there. Even British has spelling errors or even grammar. We are not perfect and nobody is.
    Yah, absolutely right. The jail term should be longer than 4 years. That is to deter other “bugok” Filipinos to do the same shameful act.
    It’s good my British partner doesn’t know about this.

  4. imelda rivera says :

    the culprits – shame on them for bringing dishonour to our country and image as filipinos. they should also be tried for estafa/malversation and forever banned from entering the uk.

  5. The article did say they would be deported at the end of their prison term, although this does not always happen.

  6. The vast majority of migrants are honest, hardworking, model citizens – they have helped build the UK!
    Unfortunately, a small minority gives everyone a bad name.

  7. Birch Lingayo says :

    I absolutely agree with Mr. Soriano with regards to how we feel on the issue, especially that it involves our fellow Filipino. It’s a big blow to others who are trying to do their very best to just so to make other nationalities have a good impression of us. I would just like to remind Mr Soriano that so many people read what we post, so wouldn’t it be better if we have somebody check our grammar and spellings before we post them?

  8. mhelay says :

    It’s a shame that some of the foreigners here in UK are engaged in illegal business. I myself is a foreigner too but the only things in my mind are to work hard for the future of my family, make friends to people with different nationalities and respect and uphold the UK law since this is my second home country.

  9. robert says :

    Dear Sir or Ma’am, Good work to catch the forgers would like to know what your inttentions are for the Indian ,will be sent back home I hope?. Immigration will have the hard task of finding the persons with forge documents which could take years and very costly hope you have taken all the assets of the forgers.
    My wife who is from the Philipinnes is most sadened to hear of a fellow Countryman of hers and thinks their jail term should be longer, more so the Indian as he would be given easy entry to U.K.
    Lord Robert Bayne

  10. alfredo s. soriano says :

    i appreciate the moved of your emmigration officials in handling the passport forgery which involved my fellow filipino and one indian.the crime they committed should be imposed not only 4 years but more than for them know that law is strickly imposed in your country. And that other criminals who would like to do the same will think 5 times before doing it., there worked is not for God but with the devil . Praised GOD you have the people that truly serve the people of U.K and it’s government,
    GOD bless United kingdom

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