A new scanner searches immigration databases to bring up matches in minutes
26th October 2010: Furnishing a false name can get in you in trouble. In fact, migrants may find themselves serving a jail sentence for the offence, detectable with a new hand-held scanner which searches immigration databases and brings up matches in minutes.
A Ghanaian man, who did not realise this and gave a false name when confronted by the UK Border Agency officers, has in fact been jailed for his lies.
The UKBA said: `Imhotep Obrempong-Asiama, 35, was arrested at his home in Parsonage Leys, Harlow, on 14 September.
`Our officers from the immigration crime team had visited the address as part of a fraud investigation.
`When Obrempong-Asiama, a visa overstayer, was asked his identity he gave a false name hoping that his immigration offences would not be exposed.
`However, his real identity was revealed when officers took his fingerprints using a new hand-held scanner which searches immigration databases and brings up matches in minutes’.
Adam Rogers, from the immigration crime team, said: ‘He knew that if he was up front he would face arrest and removal from the UK, but he only made things worse for himself by lying.
‘He will still be removed from the UK, but will have to suffer the additional punishment of serving some jail time.
‘No matter what scale it is on – whether it’s possessing fraudulent identity documents or simply giving a false name – attempting to deceive the UK Border Agency is a serious offence with severe consequences. Honesty really is the best policy.’
At Chelmsford Crown Court, Obrempong-Asiama pleaded guilty to a charge of seeking to avoid enforcement action by deception and was sentenced to five months in prison.