Immigrant jailed for passport scam

PUBLISHED: 17:23 06 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:08 25 August 2010

AN ILLEGAL immigrant was jailed for 15 months after he was caught using a female passport to cash his salary cheque.

AN ILLEGAL immigrant was jailed for 15 months after he was caught using a female passport to cash his salary cheque.

Michael Ogunro, 26, of Maida Road, Belvedere, faces deportation to South Africa after he finishes his jail sentence, which was passed down at Woolwich Crown Court last Friday.

Ogunro pleaded guilty to a single charge of possession of a false identity document, with intent.

He managed to get through UK customs using the fake South African travel document last year.

He then got hold of a false National Insurance (NI) card and found work as a cleaner. It was only when he tried to cash in a cheque at The Money Shop, Greens End, Woolwich, on July 3 this year that he was found out by an alert member of staff.

Prosecutor Gary Pons told Woolwich Crown Court: "He was asked if he had any identification and he presented the cashier with a passport.

"She was able to see that it was a female version of a South African passport but with his photo inserted. The words 'South African' were written in the female version and the barcode was apparently different.She called police who arrested this defendant and at his address they found a false NI document."

Ogunro told officers that he had bought the passport for £260 in South Africa after being approached by a 'fixer' outside the Passport Office.

He claimed he came to the UK and got the NI card after asking a man on a train for help.

Judge Douglas Marks Moore QC told him: "A passport is an important document and trust is being eroded by the acquisition and use of false documentation.

"Only an immediate sentence of custody is appropriate.

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