Lawyer jailed for fake ID scam
PUBLISHED: 13:37 23 July 2009 | UPDATED: 10:53 23 August 2010
THE manager of a solicitors firm has been jailed for seven years for his part in helping hundreds of immigrants apply to live in the UK using forged documents. Frances Enahoro, 51, of Capstan Mews, Gravesend, the mastermind behind the conspiracy, was sen
THE manager of a solicitors firm has been jailed for seven years for his part in helping hundreds of immigrants apply to live in the UK using forged documents.
Frances Enahoro, 51, of Capstan Mews, Gravesend, the mastermind behind the conspiracy, was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court last Thursday.
Enahoro, together with Oiumuyiwa Akinrin, 45, from Peckham, and Grace O'Connor, 50, of Codrington Hill, Lewisham, were found guilty on July 14 of conspiracy to facilitate illegal entrance to the United Kingdom.
Jailing Nigerian-born mastermind Enahoro, Judge Deborah Taylor, said: "This was a very serious offence involving sustained, planned and sophisticated offending, and a
very large number of fraudulent applications.
"Offences of this nature strike at the very heart of the system of immigration and identification in this country and attract sentences with an element of deterrence.
"Only an immediate custodial sentence is appropriate."
The trio, who were arrested in May 2008, charged hundreds of pounds for bespoke document forgery and residency application service intended to help abuse UK immigration procedures.
The court heard how documents were sold to applicants that provided evidence of 14 years residence in the country when in reality the applicants had only been in the UK for a short time.
Under the 14-year residency rule, anyone of good character who has lived in the UK for that period may apply to stay, whether they entered illegally or not.
Senior investigating officer Mark Teodorini, from the Metroploitan Police Service's economic and specialist crime command, said: "The sentence today is a culmination of a two year enquiry.
"Francis Enahoro systematically abused and manipulated the Home Office residency system under the guise of his company.
"With the assistance of Michael Akinrin and Grace O'Connor they provided thousands of false documents to support bogus claims, in the process charging high fees for the service."
Enaharo ran the operation from the Lewisham branch of Macauley Blackman Solicitors, providing clients with contacts for the suppliers of forged documents.
O'Connor, who was sentenced to four years for acting as forger, was also sentenced to a year in prison for fraudulently producing pay slips.
Akinrin, jailed for four years, was the middleman who handed the forged documents to clients.
The group was caught when an undercover detective visited Enahoroposed posing as a Ghanaian national.
He was handed an envelope filled up with documents including some BT bills, P60s, bank statements and NHS cards.
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