AN ILLEGAL immigrant who was arrested in Southall has been jailed for over two years after stealing the identity of a man and pretending to be him for more than a decade.
Thirty-seven year-old Indian national Sukhjiwan Singh Burham of Erica Close, Slough was arrested by officers from the UK Border Agency during a raid on a catering firm in Southall on April 2, 2009.
He claimed to be a British national named Avtar Singh, and a later search of his property by immigration officers uncovered a marriage certificate and driving licence in this name. However, they also found letters and other documentation in his true name.
UK Border Agency checks later revealed that the "real" Avtar Singh was actually a British citizen living in Canada.
He was interviewed by officials at the British High Commission to establish his identity.
Burham later admitted that he had entered the country illegally in 1996 and paid £3,000 for an illegally obtained UK passport.
He then used that passport to facilitate the entry of his wife, whom he married in India in 2003, and three children.
On Tuesday (June 16) he pleaded guilty to fraud, deception, and a series of immigration offences at Reading Crown Court, and was jailed for two and a half years with an automatic recommendation that he be deported.
Burham’s wife and children are now awaiting removal from the UK.
Gareth Redmond, area director for the UK Border Agency said: "This conviction shows how seriously the UK Border Agency takes criminals who use false or fake identity documents.
"We will continue to work shoulder-to-shoulder with the police and other enforcement partners to identify criminal activity and remove those who have no right to be in this country."
Burham was one of nine people arrested during a UK Border Agency enforcement operation at KMB Catering in Southall.
The firm was warned that they face a fine of up to £90,000 pounds for employing the men without doing the correct right to work checks.