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, 15:00
Belinda and Gracia Mbalu raised money through their church for poor people living in Democratic Republic of Congo

“In the Bible it says love your neighbour as you love yourself and I want others to love the same way.”

Yesterday, 09:00
Skaters on the rink in Ilford town centre

If opening a window on your advent calendar isn’t enough to put you in the Christmas spirit, why not acquire some festive vibes by joining in with winter activities in the borough.

Fri, 17:00
Christian rapper Sam Daniel

Sam Daniel is just 23 years old, but already his life has had more ups and downs than a rollercoaster.

Fri, 16:34
Gants Hill could be one of many Central line stations to see extended services

Extra capacity on Central line services running through the borough is included within improvements to the capital’s transport network outlined in the Mayor of London’s draft business plan.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

£3,000 goes a long way at Boots

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Kit yourself out and go Apple mad!

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

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