On Friday [14 March], a director and manager of a security company were given custodial sentences, at Woolwich Crown Court, for security and immigration offences.
Anthony Okoh, 45, and Victor Chiazor, 50, ran the security company Blue Feather Guarding Ltd without the necessary Security Industry Authority licence. The pair also employed unlicensed individuals who did not have the right to work in the UK.
Okoh, of Floathaven Close, Woolwich, was found guilty of assisting unlawful immigration contrary to the Criminal Law Act 1977 and for deploying unlicensed security guards contrary to the Private Security Industry Act 2001.
He was sentenced to four and a half years for the first offence and two years for the second, to be served concurrently. Okoh was also disqualified from working as a director for six years.
Victor Chiazor, of Nightingale Vale, Woolwich, was found guilty of the first charge and pleaded guilty to the second. He was sentenced to the 18 months for the first offence and three months for the second offence. Both sentences are also to run concurrently.
The SIA received intelligence about Blue Feather Guarding in the summer of 2012 that identified illegal practices including immigration offences. The SIA shared this intelligence with the Home Office and Blue Feather’s offices were searched.
During the search a large amount of forged identification documents were found and seized and several individuals were arrested. The SIA then continued to work closely with enforcement partners to analyse the documents.
At the trial in February 2014, Anthony Okoh and Victor Chiazor were found guilty of the offences.
Two further individuals alleged to have involvement in the illegal activities of the company are to face a re-trial in November.
SIA Head of Investigation Darren Woodhouse said: “This shows how the SIA works closely with partner agencies, in this case, the UKBA, to disrupt organised criminals intent on committing serious crimes on a systematic basis.
“The SIA is a key partner engaged in the government’s Serious and Organised Crime Strategy and has something to offer to all agencies that could contribute to the relentless disruption of organised criminal activity.
“As we make more partnerships across the UK, we hope to see more partnership cases with outcomes like this.
“The result of the trial sends out a very strong message to the industry about the commitment of the SIA and other enforcements partners in tackling serious crime.”