Failed asylum seekers receiving asylum support even though they have another source of income may find themselves in trouble. Charged with fraud, such failed asylum seekers may not only face prosecution, but also deportation.
This became apparent after a failed asylum seeker, living in Nottingham, was convicted for fraudulently receiving more than £14,000 in benefits.
On 2 February at Nottingham magistrates court, Mohammed Hossein Gholamy, aged 27, of Maud street, Nottingham, was sentenced to 60 days imprisonment, suspended for a year, and ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid community work.
The Border Force said after being refused asylum, Gholamy made further representations about his claim in June 2009. He was banned from working while we considered his additional evidence.
In the meantime, because he claimed to have no income, he was provided with basic accommodation and support totaling £14,212.87 between August 2009 and June 2011.
The UK Border Agency added: `But the benefit scam came to light in June 2011 when our officers in Nottingham arrested Gholamy for being drunk and disorderly. Documents found in his possession – vehicle registration, bank statements and a taxi licensing application – indicated that he had another income.
`Our fraud investigators found that £8,585 had been paid into his bank account between August 2009 and June 2011. Investigators were satisfied that Gholamy had also received asylum support to which he was not entitled because he had another income and charged him with fraud. Despite pleading not guilty to fraud, magistrates found him guilty’.
Asylum fraud investigator of the UK Border Agency Carol Mills said: ‘As this case shows, we will not hesitate to prosecute foreign nationals that break our laws stealing thousands of pounds from the public purse.
‘We will track down, prosecute and seek to remove those who, like this man, abuse their right to be here.’
The UKBA added: `We will now seek to remove Gholamy from the country if the further representations about his asylum claim are rejected’.