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Skills card forgers jailed

Skills card forgers jailed

5 February 2018 Email this article

A criminal gang that sold fake construction skills cards has been sent to jail.

The forgers offered counterfeit British passports, residence permits, degree certificates and Constructions Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) cards to enable workers to gain employment on constructions sites. Prices ranged from £900 for a passport to £200 for a CSCS card or a degree certificate.

The ring was cracked by Immigration Enforcement’s criminal and financial investigation (CFI) team who unearthed wide-scale distribution of the fake documents.

The gang was led by Steven Kanaventi, 39, of Mulliner Street, Coventry, and Alfred Adekoya, 47, of Kingslake Street, London. They were jailed at Woolwich Crown Court and sentenced to 3 years 4 months and 2 weeks imprisonment having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture a fake document at an earlier hearing.

Discussing the case, CFI inspector Ben Thomas said: “The criminal business that Kanaventi and Adekoya were running was designed to undermine the fundamental immigration rule that if you have no legal status in the UK, you have no right to work. Their customers hoped that the fake documents would be enough to convince prospective employers that they were entitled to work, in turn allowing them to a build a life for themselves in the UK to which they were simply not entitled.

“By bringing Kanaventi, Adekoya and their associates to justice we have stopped a concerted, systematic and financially motivated assault on the UK’s immigration system.”

Adekoya was arrested on 20th June 2017 after making an exchange inside a betting shop in Woolwich with a man subsequently identified as Luke Nkanta, 29. When Adekoya was stopped and searched shortly after the transaction had been made he was found in possession of three counterfeit British passports.

When Nkanta, of Wordsworth House, Woolwich, was stopped he was found with an envelope containing a counterfeit British passport.

Also arrested on 20th June was Abdul Azeeza, 57. When officers raided his home in Missenden, they found a fake residence permit, a fake passport and forger’s paraphernalia – including specially adapted tools for dismantling passports, threads for stitching, paint thinners and laminating equipment. He also had numerous orders for fake documents, some on his phone and some completed on betting slips.

Also arrested were three accomplices:  Paul Kanaventi, 37, of Forster Street, Nottingham; Victor Ariyo, 53, of Rye Hill Park, London; and  Madalitso Majawa, 33, of Ombersley Close, Redditch