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UKBA NEWS: East London passport smuggler jailed for 21 months

05 December 2012

A woman from East London who attempted to import forged passports in a bid to help illegal migrants remain in the UK has been jailed for 21 months.

Rachel Johnson’s scam was uncovered when Border Force officers at Coventry international postal hub intercepted a package containing four suspicious Nigerian passports on 6 March 2012. The passports themselves were genuine but contained counterfeit bio-data pages and tampered visa documents.

The parcel was delivered to Johnson’s home address on 22 March shortly after which she was arrested by our specialist officers from the North and East London criminal and financial investigations team.

When our officers searched the house, we also found her Nigerian passport contained a counterfeit indefinite leave to remain stamp.

Johnson, 40, of Cotton Approach, Romford, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to breach immigration laws and possession of forged identity documents at a previous hearing at the same court on 27 July. She was sentenced to 21 months on Thursday 29 November.

Hannah Shirley, UK Border Agency, whose team investigated the case said:

‘Johnson made a blatant attempt to cheat our immigration laws herself and on behalf of others but her conspiracy was foiled thanks to the vigilance of our detection officers at Coventry postal hub.

‘I am pleased that the court has recognised the seriousness of her actions. The message is clear: we will investigate those people who deliberately abuse our immigration system and they will face a custodial sentence like this one.’

We will now seek to remove Johnson from the country at the earliest opportunity.

It is believed the people whose passports Johnson attempted to import had entered the UK illegally. Investigations into the whereabouts of three of them are continuing but a 4th has been charged with attempted possession of a forged Nigerian passport.

Our North and East London criminal and financial investigation team is a specialist unit of police officers seconded from the Metropolitan Police working alongside our warranted officers to investigate organised immigration crime.

Source: UKBA Latest News & Updates.

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