Jail for man who forged passport to get work

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A Rugby man who used a forged passport to get work and open a bank account has been jailed.

Osei Opuni pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to possessing an identity document with improper intention and two charges of fraud.

Opuni, 29, of Park Road, who had come to this country to earn the money to continue a university course, was jailed for six months.

Prosecutor David Bennett said Opuni, a Ghanaian, entered the UK in August last year on a visitor’s visa which expired in February, and an application for an extension was turned down.

Opuni tried to use the ATM machine in at the Asda store in Rugby in May, but the Lloyds TSB card he was using had been blocked by the bank.

The card had been issued in April when Opuni had opened an account with the bank in the name of Jonny Landragin.

So he went into the Lloyds TSB branch in Church Street and attempted to withdraw money from the account over the counter.

But the cashier was suspicious of the forged French passport in the name of Jonny Landragin which he handed over as proof of identity.

So the police were called, and when he was arrested he maintained he was Mr Landragin – and he had two other bank cards in that name.

But he also had one in his real name, and after he was arrested Opuni admitted his true identity.

He also confessed that he had used the passport, which he said he had been given by a friend, in February to be taken on by Rugby Recruitment Services, through which he got warehouse work earning around £220 a week.

Robert Hodgkinson, defending, said Opuni had attended university in Cyprus to study chemistry, and had hoped to find work there to fund the second year of his course.

When he was unable to do so, he came here to get work to raise the money to continue the course – and earned a total of around £1,300 over a three-month period.

Mr Hodgkinson added that because Rugby Recruitment, who had accepted the forged passport as proof Opuni was French and entitled to work here, would not pay him in cash, he had then used it to open a bank account.

Jailing Opuni Judge Sylvia de Bertodano told him: “You deliberately came here to get work, knowing you were not entitled to do so.”