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 News Stories

Members of the public use NatWest cash machines.

Residents have reacted with anger and disappointment at the announcement that NatWest bank in Seven Kings is to close.

Yesterday, 18:00
Karolina Adamonyte, 19, and her dog Tina were attacked in Christie Gardens Park - a minute away from her home - by two dogs. Tina was bitten in the face and Karolina was bitten on her thumb while trying to protect Tina.

A traumatised teenager has spoken of her “bloody” ordeal after she and her dog were attacked in a park.

Yesterday, 16:41
Iain Duncan Smith MP meeting parents at Churchfields Junior School in Churchfields, South Woodford, on Friday May 22 Credit: Ken Mears

Iain Duncan Smith MP has wasted no time in getting involved in community issues by meeting with campaigners fighting to repair a playground after his reelection.

Yesterday, 15:11
One Khalsa biker at the Lee Rigby 'Ride of Respect' which began in Greenwich Park

A Sikh motorcycle group were given “a warm welcome” by thousands of other bikers at a special ride to commemorate Lee Rigby’s death on Friday.

Most read news

Competitions

You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Time to experience the dizzy heights of London's tallest attraction!

Morgan Pryce, commercial property experts based in London are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a pair of tickets to The Shard viewing platform in the city itself.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ilford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder