Search

Newham immigration gang scammed over £4million in benefits

14:00 02 November 2012

Ringleader Ruth Nabuguzi.

Ringleader Ruth Nabuguzi.

Archant

An immigration scam gang from Newham has been jailed for a total of 19 years for fraudulently claiming over £4 million in benefits.

Ringleader Ruth Nabuguzi, 49, of Church Road, Manor Park used several false identifies to fraudulently claim benefit payments for herself, helping to build a complex consisting of luxury apartments, shops, restaurants and a hotel in her home city of Kampala, Uganda.

She also created false identities for people she claimed were her children or dependents that enabled them to enter the country illegally from Uganda and claim benefits illegally.

The court heard that Nabuguzi – who also went under the names of Tessie Busulwa, Jane Namusisi and Pauline Zalwango - made multiple claims for asylum and benefits for herself and others as part of an elaborate scam.

She was assisted by Dennis Kyeyune, Jordan Sebutemba, Lamulah Sekiziyuvu and Albert Kaidi.

Officers who raided Kyeyune’s home address in Mitcham Road, East Ham, discovered numerous ‘identity packs’ in a holdall and plastic bag which had been placed on top of a garden shed.

This contained passports in five different identities of Nabuguzi bearing her photograph, Home Office residency permits and various benefits application forms.

The benefits claimed were mainly housing, disability and unemployment benefits, totalling around £1.6 million.

Ruth Nabuguzi also used her alternative identities to fraudulently claim a further £2.3 million worth of prescription drugs from the NHS.

Nabuguzi pleaded guilty to various immigration and fraud offences at a previous hearing in March and was sentenced to six years in prison at Croydon Crown Court yesterday.

Co-conspirators Eddie Semanda and Lina Katongola, who were arrested at a later date, also pleaded guilty to various charges. Katongola was sentenced to one year in prison while Semanda got a four month suspended sentence.

Yvette Syapjeu (also known as Mathy Matumba) was also arrested as part of the investigation and sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to various charges.

Another woman, Betty Tatiana Tibakawa, who also admitted charges, will be sentenced at a future date.

Kyeyune and Kaidi were sentenced to two and a half years, while Sekiziyuvu was jailed for three years. Sebutemba was given a one year suspended sentence after a jury found them guilty of various immigration and fraud offences on 25 October following a six-week trial at Croydon Crown Court.

Alan Sentongo, 23, who lived at Kyeyune’s address, was cleared by the jury of one charge of possession of articles for use in fraud, contrary to section 6(1) of the Fraud Act 2006 and one charge of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to Common Law.

Tony Erne, from the UK Border Agency, said: “This was a major criminal operation dating back several years. Ruth Nabuguzi and her co-conspirators thought they could get away with it but our officers, working closely with other agencies, smashed their web of deceit.

“These sentences show that abuse of our immigration system for profit will not be tolerated. The message is clear to those thinking of doing the same: we will rigorously investigate people who seek to abuse the hospitality of the UK and commit crime.”

The UK Border Agency and other agencies will now seek to recover the proceeds of this conspiracy through Proceeds of Crime Act legislation.

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 12:00
Brenda Lawley selling poppies  in Morrisons Stratford (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Step into a station, supermarket or shopping centre in the two weeks leading up to Remembrance Day and chances are you’ll come across a poppy seller.

Yesterday, 11:57
A computer-generated image of the phase two development from Barking Road

Months before its completion, the second phase of a major housing development has sold all of its homes.

Yesterday, 11:30
Planned engineering work could affect your journey this weekend.

There is a relatively minor programme of planned closures on the Tube and Overground network this weekend - but they could still affect your journey. Read on for the lowdown.

Yesterday, 09:57
Firefighters on strike at East Ham Fire Station last year

Firefighters are now on strike as part of a long-running dispute with the government over pension reforms.

Most read news

“Space is hard and today was a tough day.”

One pilot is dead and another seriously injured after the craft exploded over the Mojave desert.

One pilot has died and another is seriously injured after a rocket belonging to billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s space tourism venture crashed during a test flight. Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket came down in the Mojave Desert in California. An eyewitness reported that the craft exploded in flight after ignition. A Virgin Galactic spokesman said the […]

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition