Thursday, 23 June 2016

Nigerian Woman Jailed 3 Years In the UK For Using Stolen Identity To Claim Thousands Of Pounds In Benefits For 12 Years

A Nigerian national Antoinette Kaidi (L), along with her "sister" Louise Kaidi (R), have been found guilty of 23 counts including fraud and dishonesty. They were convicted of taking thousands of pounds from the NHS in training and bursary costs. They also took false tax credit and income support payments from public purse and scammed the UK government for 12-years using 'ghost identities'.

According to Dailymail, Hundreds of illegal immigrants using fake identities are free to plunder millions in benefits after the Home Office halted a major fraud investigation, it was claimed yesterday. The claim came after the two final members of an African gang who pocketed more than £8million in criminal benefits were jailed.

Antoinette and Louise Kaidi lived in Britain under false names for 13 years and illegally made £560,000 between them in a ‘very sophisticated’ scam. It included fraudulent claims for housing benefit, income support, jobseekers allowance and student bursaries.
They were tried under their ‘ghost identities’ as their real names remain a mystery. They pleaded guilty mid-way through their trial because their defence was so ‘risible’ the jury was ‘laughing’ at them, Croydon Crown Court heard.

It ended a complex six-year investigation involving multiple government departments, councils and employers that led to 21 people being convicted, including the gang’s masterminds. But a source involved in the probe said there were many more suspected fraudsters connected to the scam who had been allowed to get away with it.

The Kaidis spent 13 years using the identities of sisters from Togo in West Africa who applied for asylum in the early 1990s but never pursued their claim. Louise is believed to be from Uganda and Antoinette is of mixed Nigerian-Ghanaian heritage. As well as pocketing huge sums in benefits, the pair trained as nurses in their fake names, claiming generous state-funded NHS student bursaries. Even Antoinette’s husband, with whom she has two children, was unaware she had a fake name until her arrest, the court heard.

At trial the pair kept claiming to be from French-speaking Togo. Antoinette said she was brought to Britain aged nine by her mother who forced her to work as a slave in homes around London. But she could not recall a single address where she was ‘enslaved’. She claimed her mother paid for a private tutor to teach her English, explaining why she cannot speak a word of French.

After belatedly pleading guilty, the Kaidis admitted to 23 counts, from 2003 to 2015, including fraud, conspiracy to assist in unlawful immigration and falsely obtaining benefits. Judge John Tanzer jailed them for 33 months each.

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