Search

Former Newham registrar jailed for helping gang illegally claim £4m in benefits

15:49 01 February 2013

Azu Akpom, a former Newham registrar, was jailed for five years.

Azu Akpom, a former Newham registrar, was jailed for five years.

Archant

A councillor said he felt “betrayed” by a crooked registrar jailed for five years on Tuesday for helping an African gang milk the benefits system by creating fake birth certificates.

Azu Akpom started to work for Newham Council in 2004 but he was sacked in 2011 after it emerged he made up five false identities for children so the ringleader, Ugandan-born Ruth Nabuguzi, could bring people into the country as dependents and claim money off the state illegally.

He was found guilty of one charge of misconduct in public office at Croydon Crown Court and jailed for five years.

The sentence was run concurrently with five counts of supplying articles for use in fraud for which he was jailed for four years.

Cllr Unmesh Desai, Newham Council’s executive member for crime and anti-social behaviour, said: “Akpom systematically abused his position and in-depth knowledge of the system.

“We employed him in good faith and he abused that trust. He betrayed us and many other people.”

Akpom, a Nigerian-born father of three, was trapped by an incriminating text message to Nabuguzi after the General Registry Office contacted Newham’s Registry Office in 2011 concerned about his registration of twins Catherine and Godfrey Lubeta and another child Louise Kayaya - none of whom had actually been born.

Nabuguzi, 49, of Church Road, Manor Park, also used several false identities to claim payments for herself to build a complex of luxury apartments, shops, restaurants, and a hotel in her home city of Kampala.

She was jailed for 19 years in 2012 for fraudulently claiming over £4million in benefits.

Latest News Stories

17:47
Chocolatier Jen Lindsay-Clark makes final adjustments to a life-size chocolate sculpture of actor Benedict Cumberbatch,

Benedict Cumberbatch has been recreated into a life-size chocolate sculpture and he’s going on display at Stratford Westfield City this week.

United Kingdom
Cllr Ayesha Chowdhury, senior project manager Julian Rodriguez, group development director John Hughes,  Sir Robin Wales, Cllr Ken Clark and managing director Stuart Brodie.  Picture: Richard Townshend

The Mayor of Newham joined two of the borough’s councillors to see the work being done on a Beckton property development.

Newham
Peter Smith, the divisional secretary for Newham Teachers' Association, who has called for the abolition of Ofsted

Government policy has caused soaring stress levels among teachers, according to the divisional secretary of Newham Teachers’ Association.

BBC
Anthony Palmer

A “persistent” attempted robber who followed his victim from West Ham station in a bid to steal a necklace has been jailed for 10 months.

Most read news

Competitions

Vroom! You could be emmersed in the action at the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship.

The MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship fires into Brands Hatch on 17/18/19 April for one of the most anticipated seasons in recent years as 39 riders are set for two fierce contests on the 1.2 mile Indy circuit.

Read more
Munch on a tasy three course dinner at The Refinery!

“Where to go for a drink near Great Portland Street?” was previously met with blank expressions and shrugs for those local to the area, not anymore, thanks to the opening of The Refinery at Regent’s Place, the eighth bar and restaurant from hugely-successful group Drake & Morgan.

Read more

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder