Search

Bogus Albanian asylum seeker jailed for 18 months in his absence after fleeing the UK

13:57 14 January 2013

A bogus Albanian asylum seeker who conned his way into a job as an intelligence officer has been jailed for 18 months in his absence.

Elidon Habilaj, 35, of Victoria Road, South Woodford, was sentenced this morning in Snaresbrook Crown Court after being found guilty by a jury of fraudulently living in the UK.

The court heard how Habilaj pretended to be Bekim Ademi, a refugee from Kosovo, in 1998 when the Home Office had a policy of granting asylum to people fleeing the war-torn country.

The fraudster said his five front teeth were knocked out by Serbian police, his brother had been tortured to death and both his parents were dead, the court was told.

After being granted British citizenship and a passport, he gained a job with the Serious Organised Crime Agency’s fugitive location team in 2009.

But he was exposed at the agency’s Vauxhall offices after he was caught checking his true identity profile at work.

Habilaj was found guilty of obtaining leave to enter or remain in the UK by deception and fraud.

He was cleared of possession of an ID document with improper intention on the judge’s direction.

Jailing him for a total of 18 months, including three months for failing to answer bail, Judge Simon Wilkinson said: “He pretended to be a Kosovan and he was an Albanian who made up tales of atrocities to evoke sympathy.”

Prosecutor Christian Moll said Habilaj and his parents were born in Albania and “it would appear he never had a brother”.

Measures to trace and extradite Habilaj from Albania are now urgently being considered.

Defending Habilaj, Jonathan Black told jurors: “The defendant says he never gave any details which he knew or believed to be false with a view to obtain status in the UK.”

Latest Ilford News Stories

Yesterday, 18:13
Redbridge Momentum with John McDonnell MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. Redbridge Town Hall.

The Jeremy Corbyn roadshow rolled into Ilford last week just as the Labour leadership battle stepped up a gear.

Yesterday, 17:41
Ilford Super cinema circa 1924.

Local historian John Barfoot shares his memories of the “picture palaces” of 1930s Ilford.

Yesterday, 12:00
Aid worker Tauqir Sharif, 29, in Syria.

A father of two and one of the few aid workers inside war-torn Syria lives with his family at the heart of one the world’s most dangerous conflicts helping civilians to survive.

Yesterday, 06:45
Jumping for joy

After the excitement of last week’s A-level results day, it’s time for teenagers across the borough to experience the same nerve-wracking feelings as they collect their GCSE results.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now