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Man sentenced for benefit fraud and obtaining a false passport

|News, Fraud and economic crime

A man who cheated the state out of thousands of pounds in benefits and fraudulently obtained a passport has been sentenced.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Mohammed Ahmed, 39, claimed £6,762 of Universal Credit to which he was not entitled between February 2018 to January 2019.

Investigations into this led the authorities to uncover other frauds committed by Ahmed.

Ahmed, formerly known as Shirajul Hoque, entered the UK from Bangladesh as a Bangladeshi national born in 1969. Ahmed does not qualify for British citizenship and has never made an application for entry clearance to the UK.

In 2003, he made an application for a passport, under the name of Shirajul Hoque, and provided an old British blue passport as identification. That old passport turned out to be a forgery.

In 2008, he applied for another passport with a change of name deed poll document that changed his name from Shirajul Hoque to Mohammed Shiraj Ahmed. He was issued with another passport.

As a result of the defendant’s application to the Department for Work and Pensions between 6 March 2018 and 7 January 2019, Universal Credit payments amounting to £6,762.81 were paid into his bank account.

In January 2019, Department of Work and Pensions officials searched Ahmed’s house in Station Road, Holmes Chapel, and found the deed poll document and one of the passports.

He was arrested on 15 January 2019. He pleaded guilty to possession of a false identity document with intent and dishonest representation for obtaining benefit.

The Crown Prosecution Service allowed two other charges, of possession of a false identity document with intent and making an untrue statement for the purpose of obtaining a passport to lie on file.

On 7 November 2019 at Chester Crown Court, Ahmed was sentenced to 18 months in prison suspended for two years, and he must surrender his false passport. The decision on whether or not he should be deported has been passed to the Home Office.

Rob Girvan, of CPS Mersey Cheshire’s Fraud Unit, said: “Mohammed Ahmed has gone from one cheat to another since he came to this country under a false identity.

“Proving the extent of his fraudulent activity has involved liaison with a number of government departments and officials and the setting up a video link for a witness to give evidence from Bangladesh.

“Ahmed had no right to this money and no right to be here and the work of the Crown Prosecution Service has brought him to justice.”

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