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Frauds cast doubt on student immigration checks

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Four nurses have been jailed this month for falsely claiming student bursaries and then illegally working in the UK.

A registered learning disabilities nurse, Dzikamai Mhakayakora, was jailed for nine months and Definate Mukwe was jailed for a year.

Both nurses had started training in 2003 at Thames Valley University using false documentation.

Mr Mhakayakora pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud totalling more than £85,000 – an £18,600 student bursary and earnings at a private nursing home of more than £66,500.

Ms Mukwe started training at TVU, also in 2003, using a Zimbabwean passport with a false indefinite leave to remain endorsement.

She then falsely claimed an NHS student bursary of £20,600 and went on to work as a substance misuse nurse at Chelmsford prison, where she was arrested in December 2008 after falsely proving her right to work using the same bogus document.

A spokesperson for Thames Valley University said the organisation has ‘robust procedures’ for checking student eligibility to study.

‘Unfortunately, in extremely rare cases, even the most stringent of checks can fail to detect the most determined forger,’ the spokesperson added.

A further two nurses were jailed last week for fraud related to right to work in the UK.

Ignatius Dube was jailed for 21 months for claiming an NHS bursary of £18,980, after using a false Home Office letter to gain a place at Sheffield Hallam University. He also claimed nearly £56,300 in asylum benefits and earned nearly £14,400 while working through recruitment agencies.

A spokesperson for SHU said it also does rigorous checks on students’ identity, but added: ‘Unfortunately, in this case we were deceived by a convincing fake document.’

And Aisha Badamasi, who started nursing diploma at London South Bank University in 2004 using photocopied pages from a Dutch passport, was jailed for 12 months on Friday.

Ms Badamasi, a Nigerian, received more than £36,250 in NHS bursary payments over four years with the bogus documentation.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • I am not that surprised that all these people could fool the universities and NHS.Noone really takes the time to look at the documents properly,they just assume that all blacks look alike as they can't tell the difference even when its so obvious to others.on my interview day there were atleast 3 that i noticed were not legit but they were all accepted on the course.one even made a massive blunder when she produced a British passport and couldn't identify which name was her maiden name and her married name and could barely speak English.But the Lady checking our documents just let her through.This kind of people give African or Foreigners bad reputation.I've always wanted to do nursing but i couldn't and had to wait 8 years before i qualify as i am a Nigerian.

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