Seven men have been jailed for a combined total of 16 years after CITB assisted an investigation into the production and supply of fake identity documents, including CSCS cards.
Steven Kanaventi, 39, Paul Kanaventi, 37, Victor Ayrio, 53, Alfred Adekoya, 47, Abul Azeeza, 57, Madalitso Majawa, 33, and Luke Nkanta, 29, were all found guilty of various fraud offences. Immigration officers investigating the gang unearthed the wide-scale distribution of fake British passports, residence permits and CSCS cards. The men were based in London, Coventry, Nottingham and Redditch.
Steven Kanaventi admitted to selling false documents for approximately 10 years and his gang partner, Paul Kanaventi, was working in the construction industry. Prices ranged from £200 for the CSCS card and degree certificates, to £900 for a passport. CITB supported the investigation by providing evidence that the CSCS cards produced were counterfeit documents, as well as supplying information on the gang members.
All seven were sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court on 26 January, receiving prison sentences of between six months and four years.
The gang’s leaders, Steven Kanaventi from Coventry and Alfred Adekoya from London were both jailed for three years and four months, having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture a fake document at an earlier hearing. Paul Kanaventi admitted money laundering and was sentenced to nine months. The other gang members also pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.
Commenting on the case, CITB Fraud Investigator Ian Sidney said: “People working illegally or without the necessary qualifications pose a huge risk to the construction industry and we are determined to stamp these practices out. Illegal working undermines legitimate employers, harms the reputation of the industry, drives down wages and denies employment opportunities to many others.
“The sentencing of the individuals involved in this criminal gang clearly show CITB is fully committed to fighting fraud in the construction industry. We will continue to work with the Home Office, law enforcement agencies and industry in bringing offenders to justice.”
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,
Marked ‘SUSPECTED FRAUDULENT CARD’ with details of the crime number given by local police.
- You can also email Report.firstname.lastname@example.org