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‘Bogus’ South Woodford asylum seeker ‘conned his way into intelligence job’

Court Reporter
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
3:22 PM

A bogus Albanian asylum seeker who lived in South Woodford conned his way into a job as an intelligence officer with the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), a court heard today.

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Elidon Habilaj, 35, of Victoria Road, claimed he was Bekim Ademi, a refugee from war-torn Kosovo who arrived in Britain on ‘the back of a lorry’ in September 1998, jurors were told.

Habilaj said Serbian police wearing knuckle dusters punched out his five front teeth and that his brother, Farid Ademi, had been tortured to death, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

He also claimed his father was killed by the Kosovan Liberation Army and his mother had died from a stroke, it was said.

He was granted full asylum status in 2001, and later British citizenship and a passport in 2006.

With his passport, he applied for a low-level intelligence job at SOCA, which tackles serious organised crime including human trafficking and drug smuggling, it was said.

But when he was required to carry out a check on himself on an agency database at their south London offices, colleagues saw Habilaj’s details come up, said prosecutor Christian Moll.

The Albanian authorities revealed he was born in that country to an Albanian mother and father, Mr Moll said.

“In addition, it would appear he never had a brother.” Jurors heard Habilaj, who was arrested on June 29 last year, has chosen not to attend the trial and fled Britain in February last year, amid fears his life would be in danger.

He also claims the case against him is unjustified and against someone who has worked hard to establish himself in the UK.

Habilaj denies obtaining leave to enter or remain in the UK by deception and possession of an ID document with improper intention and fraud.

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