A man who used a false name to work on UK construction sites has been sentenced to six months’ jail, following a Home Office and Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) investigation.
Twenty-three year old Nigerian national, Gideon Emeka Okafor was sentenced last Thursday (26 January) at Sheffield Crown Court.
Mr Okafor was arrested in November 2016 and charged with using a fake French national identification card in order to obtain a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card in August 2015.
It’s understood he then used the fake CSCS card to work illegally on construction sites in London for over a year.
Mr Okafor was caught following a Home Office investigation into his false documentation. It was supported with information from CITB – which deliver the administration of the CSCS card scheme on behalf of the scheme owners CSCS Ltd – confirming that a card had been issued in the name of ‘Patrice Beziat’, Mr Okafor’s alias.
Ian Sidney, Fraud Manager at CITB and former Police Superintendent, said: “CITB is working closely with the Home Office to keep fraud out of construction.
"We hope that the sentencing of this young man sends a message loud and clear to fraudsters – there’s no place for you in the construction industry and you will be caught.
"The case also highlights the need for employers to be vigilant in checking workers’ documentation and to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity. Fraudsters on construction sites present a danger to themselves and others and we need to work together to stamp this activity out.”
What to do if you spot a fraudulent card
Employers are urged to conduct regular checks on cards either using CSCS smart card readers or the CITB online card checker on our website - please see attached link to check cards.
If you think you know someone using a fraudulent card you should:
- Retain the card if possible
- Make photocopies of front and back
- Record cardholder’s name and address
- Ask the cardholder where the card was obtained from
- Call the local police and report the matter
- Refuse access to site (subject to company rules)
- Forward copies of all evidence to CITB Quality Assurance Team, Building 16, Bircham Newton, King’s Lynn, PE31 6RH, marked ‘SUSPECTED FRAUDULENT CARD’ with details of the crime number given by local police.
- You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org