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Forged his documents to remain and see Christmas

The Bangladeshi illegal is likely to be free before the magic day

09 December 2008. A Bangladeshi man falsified immigration papers to stay in Cumbria and see a British Christmas. He was proposed for immediate deportation, but the judge ruled against the recommendation because the illegal immigrant cooperated with officials and posed no threat.

Akbar Khandaker – who is in his 30s, stayed with relatives, and has qualifications in business and finance – was arrested after a raid on takeaway premises. When immigration officials inspected his documents, they realised that Khandaker had a photocopy of somebody else’s passport, but he had superimposed his own photo on it.

Khandaker said he falsified the document because his six-month leave to stay had expired and he planned to show the false papers to a police officer if he were challenged.

During the Court hearings, Khandaker’s lawyer described his client as a naive young man, who had originally come to the UK in March with just £2,000 in cash.

"He understood that his leave to stay in this country had expired at the time when he was arrested,” said Khandaker’s lawyer.

“He also admitted falsifying the document in the manner described.

“But on June 8, he mislaid his original passport on a train.

“He has little English and felt unable to rectify the situation straight away.
“He didn’t do the sensible thing, though he is not a criminal. He accepts he behaved in an unlawful way so he could stay a little longer and earn some more money.
“When he was interviewed after his arrest, he spoke of his desire to see Scotland and to experience a British Christmas. Those were the two things uppermost in his mind. He likes this country and would wish to stay.”

The judge accepted that Khandaker originally had a valid work permit and had been fully cooperative with the immigration authorities and police. The judge imposed a jail term of six months, of which Khandaker must serve half before his release on licence.

As he has already served 77 days while waiting for the case to come to court, he is likely to be free within days.

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