Sierra Leonean man ordered to repay £55,789 for providing unregulated immigration advice.
On 4 March 2016 at Southwark Crown Court, Judge Nicolas Lorraine-Smith issued a confiscation order against Martin Solomon Randolph Kekurah, 64, a Sierra Leone national of Fortune Place, Bermondsey, London.
He was ordered to pay £55,789 within the next 3 months or serve a further 18 months’ imprisonment in default of payment.
Mr Kekurah had been convicted of providing illegal immigration advice and services on 3 July 2015 and sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment.
At the time of the original sentencing Judge Nicolas Lorraine–Smith said:
“I’m satisfied you are manipulative and greedy. You have been preying on vulnerable people who needed immigration advice.
“You knew what you were doing was wrong and you have done everything possible to avoid detection and conviction”.
His Honour Judge Loraine-Smith in delivering his judgement said he had no hesitation in finding that Mr Kekurah had a criminal lifestyle and that he was a “fraudsman to his fingertips”. He had told lies throughout proceedings and his explanations of his financial affairs were simply unbelievable - rarely had he heard a less credible witness.
The Judge rejected Mr Kekurah’s evidence entirely stating:
“He had survived by fraud throughout his time in this country.”
Mr Kekurah’s benefit from crime was found to be over £500,000, however he only had £5,789 left in bank accounts that could be traced. As many of these were in false names, the Judge was satisfied that Mr Kekurah had ‘hidden assets’ of £50,000.
The Judge said that the victims of Mr Kekurah’s crimes should now receive compensation.
These orders were the result of the combined efforts of the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) and the Metropolitan Police Regional Asset Recovery Team based at Charing Cross Police Station.
Speaking about the decision, the Deputy Immigration Services Commissioner, Dr Ian Leigh said:
“The OISC is here to ensure that people seeking immigration advice are treated fairly by people they can trust and who are fit and competent.
“Mr Kekurah operated outside the law. My Office will continue to identify and prosecute those who break the law and we will use all necessary legislation such as the Proceeds of Crime Act to pursue law breakers.
“The OISC is very appreciative of the support and assistance given by the Metropolitan Police London Regional Asset Recovery Team in this case.”