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Man jailed for using stolen passport

Date published: 20 January 2014

AN illegal immigrant has been jailed for trying to use a passport stolen with thousands of others in Oldham years ago.

Muhammad Arshad (49), of Onchan Avenue, Oldham, admitted possessing identity documents with intent to commit fraud and was jailed for 12 months at Manchester Crown Court.

In 2008, 3,600 blank passports and 4,500 visas were stolen from a courier van parked outside a Chadderton shop. The documents were headed to RAF Northolt, to be sent to British embassies worldwide. A police operation has since recovered nearly 1,500 of the stolen visas and more than 2,000 passports.

On Boxing Day Arshad attempted to board a flight to Pakistan at Manchester Airport. An officer identified it as one of those stolen in 2008. Arshad was arrested and checks found he had successfully applied for a six-month visa - which expired in August 2008.

Det Sgt John Murdoch, said: “A significant number of passports and visas were stolen in 2008 and while many have been recovered, clearly some remain in circulation. This case shows that no matter how long they remain dormant, if someone is prepared to try them out, there are specialist officers with the skill to spot a fake, no matter how good.

“Arshad was an illegal immigrant attempting to fly to Pakistan who will automatically be deported upon the completion of his sentence and, while that means he will get to complete his journey, it will come at the expense of a 12-month prison sentence.”

In 2009, five men — including four from Oldham — were jailed for their involvement in the passport thefts.


£60K to keep him in prison for 12 months! What an amazing waste of taxpayers money when he poses no physical threat to anyone! No wonder there isn't the space to lock up those dangerous criminals who need to be and half the sex offenders go free.
Why does it matter if he is rehabilitated or not, he's going to be deported anyway! Hopefully the least the state will do is to confiscate any UK assets he has to pay the costs of imprisonment and removal.

i personally don't have any faith in our system anymore and it wouldn't surprise me if he wasn't deported at the end of his sentence. upon his sentence ending ,whoever has been helping this illegal to stay in this country ,should be deported with him . we'll see !

WELL i was feeling down and could do with a good laugh then i read this article and just could,nt stop laughing , he tried to get home and we lock him up for 12 months at our expence yet again , what is our judges thinking , rapest muggers, and other low live get off scott free because our jails are full .
Please start judgeing correctly or give up you may as well at this rate .2008 he should have gone wheres he been ?

I'm sure you're right brassed off and I'm sure he's not the only one. As we heard last week there are communities who want to police themselves and will rarely if ever involve the Police in certain matters.

Although I agree with the above comments to a degree, have people forgotten about the 'war against terror' ? Let's slap the back of his hand and say don't do it again. Good to see UKBA doing their job at the airport. Police & Border Agency don't write the legislation.


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