A convicted criminal from London has been ordered to forfeit £27,500 profit he made from a sham marriage operation, the UK Border Agency reports.
Magistrates told 38-year-old Sulaimon Lawal of Drovers Way in Peckham, who is already serving a five-year jail sentence after admitting conspiracy to facilitate illegal immigrants into the country, that the government will retain the money under the 2002 Proceeds of Crime Act.
Croydon Magistrates Court heard that our Immigration Crime Team discovered the money when Lawal’s home was raided in November 2010.
Fell at the final fence
Lawal was arrested after attempting to jump over the garden fence with a suitcase containing ‘packs’ of Home Office EEA application forms, false utility bills and accompanying documents, all believed to be false applications to the Home Office.
One of our Financial Investigation Units, based in Croydon, established that the cash was most likely to be Lawal’s profit from illegal activity.
At the court hearing, on Thursday 11 August, magistrates ordered the forfeiture of the full £27,500 plus accrued interest. They agreed that the money was recoverable property, having been the proceeds of crime, and should not be returned to Lawal.
A confiscation investigation remains ongoing in order to seize any assets belonging to Lawal which can be shown to be the result of his criminality.
Michael Wiggin, Crime Directorate, UK Border Agency said:
‘This investigation shows that crime doesn’t pay and sends a clear message – the UK Border Agency not only has the capability to detect and bring those involved in immigration crime to justice but also to deprive them of the rewards of their criminality.’ Source: UK Border Agency
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