|Jordan Sebutemba (Left), Property owned by one of the fradster in Uganda (Up) and Fraudsters (Down)|
The family of fraudsters of an ‘outrageous abuse of the hospitality’ shown to them by Britain were jailed yesterday for stealing £4million from taxpayers.
The 20-year scam included one of the fraud ringleaders creating fake identities for up to 100 children to milk the benefits system.
The ringleader, Ruth Nagubuzi also claimed to have HIV and Aids in order to receive costly drugs which she then sent back to Uganda for huge profits. It was estimated that supplying the medicines to the 49-year-old, as well as four other made-up ‘sufferers’, cost the taxpayer more than £2million. A further £154,000 went on education for members of the ‘family’, with £37,500 for a single higher education course.
Fraud relating to accommodation costs and sub-letting of flats by Nagubuzi cost £650,000, and the family’s benefits including child allowances, disability benefits, and council tax and tax credits totalled £900,000.
The gang’s gains were spent on a complex consisting of luxury apartments, shops, restaurants and a hotel in Nagubuzi’s home city of Kampala, the Ugandan capital. Plans for building new properties were found when police raided the gang’s homes across East London.
Ruth Nabuguzi (The Ringleader) Dennis Kyeyune, (Ringleader's son)
Albert Kaidi Yvette Syapjeu
Lamulah Sekiziyuvu Lina Katongola
Yesterday eight of the group were sentenced to a total of 19 years by Judge Nicholas Ainley at Croydon Crown Court in South London.
During a six-week trial four defendants, all from East London, pleaded not guilty to a string of fraud and asylum application offences.
Dennis Kyeyune, 29, and Lamulah Sekiziyuvu, 36, were both given sentences totalling 30 months, while Jordan Sebutemba, 26 – a mother of children aged five and 11 months – was spared jail and given a one-year sentence suspended for two years.
Albert Kaidi, 27, was also given a 30-month sentence and told he had ‘lied’ about being from Rwanda when he was a native of Uganda.
Yesterday those found guilty were joined in the dock by four other gang members who had earlier pleaded guilty to numerous offences.
The other guilty fraudsters included Nagubuzi, who managed to claim £2,280,000 in HIV/Aids medication for herself and in four other identities, which investigators believe she has sold for vast profit in Uganda.
Nagubuzi was given a total of six years imprisonment and told that an immigration tribunal would look at her right to remain in the UK.
Cameroonian-born fraudster Mathy Matumba, 50 – whose real name is believed to be Yvette Syapjeu – was given a four-year jail term for using a number of false identities to steal more than £350,000 in benefits payments since coming to Britain in 1998.
Nurse Lina Katongola, 29, was given a one-year prison term and Eddie Semanda, 31, was given a four-month prison term, suspended for one year, over a false naturalisation application.
The ringleader, Nagubuzi came to the UK in 1991 and claimed asylum for herself and four children she had left in Uganda. Three years later she used the name Jane Namusisi to apply for asylum again – along with two more children. In 1999, using the name Pauline Zalwango, she applied once more, this time with three children.
She is believed to have regularly travelled to Uganda and bought at least three properties around Kampala.
|Another luxury house in Uganda that was paid for using money that was illegally obtained in Britain|
|The luxury flats in Kampala, Uganda, that were built using the proceeds of the scam|
When police searched the East London home of Dennis Kyeyune – thought to be Nagubuzi’s son or nephew – they found a black holdall containing a vast array of fake documents, described as a ‘kitbag for the commission of identity fraud’.
The judge said that there would be a confiscation hearing at a later date under Proceeds of Crime legislation.
Investigators from the UK Border Agency have visited Kampala to try to identify properties bought by Nagubuzi and her gang. However, it is believed that in a bid to avoid land registry detection in the African country she has ordered that some of her homes are not finished by builders so they cannot be officially ‘signed off’ by building inspectors.
Tony Erne, from the UK Border Agency, said: 'This was a major criminal operation dating back several years. Ruth Nabuguzi and her co-conspirators thought they could get away with it but our officers, working closely with other agencies, smashed their web of deceit.
'These sentences show that abuse of our immigration system for profit will not be tolerated. The message is clear to those thinking of doing the same: we will rigorously investigate people who seek to abuse the hospitality of the UK and commit crime.'
WOW! Am really speechless at how greedy people can be.