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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mother of six lied she was gang raped to clain asylum - and Benefits of £250,000

Daily Mail
January 11,

Her harrowing account of being brutally gang-raped by armed militiamen in Somalia won Amina Muse refuge in Britain.

The mother-of-six, whose asylum application graphically described her brothers being shot dead in front of her, was later given UK citizenship because of the ‘appalling atrocities’.

But the terrifying ordeal, like her identity, was completely bogus – it was merely a front for an elaborate benefit fraud that cost taxpayers more than £400,000.

On the day that Muse claimed that armed men stormed her family home in East Africa she was giving birth in Sweden.

The 38-year-old, who investigators suspect might actually be Kenyan, conned that country out of £50,000.

She spent the money on luxury living, flying between Stockholm and London to perpetuate her scam.

In Britain, she applied for every welfare benefit possible under her false name and claimed further UK handouts using the bogus identity she had adopted to secure a Swedish passport.

Yesterday she was jailed for four and a half years after a jury convicted her of a string of fraud charges.

The judge said the sentence would have been harsher but for consideration of the welfare of Muse’s children, the ‘real victims in this case’.

The court was told she cannot be deported because she is a British citizen. Last night there were demands that the Home Office, which is reviewing her status, remove her from this country.

Tory MP Philip Davies said: ‘This kind of scam brings the whole asylum system into complete disrepute.

‘It’s no wonder there is no confidence in the authorities to properly control our borders and stop our hospitality being abused.

‘The fact that this woman’s future status in this country is in any doubt whatsoever is unbelievable. There can’t be one person in this country who doesn’t want her kicked out of the country and never allowed back.’

Harrow Crown Court heard that Muse had sought refuge in Britain after eight years of ‘comfortable’ living in Sweden.

On her 2003 asylum application, she claimed militiamen targeted her family home in December 1998 because she was a member of a minority group.

‘They opened fire at us and then broke into our house by force,’ she said. ‘They shot dead my brothers Asad and Burhan. They died instantly in our presence.’

Andrew Evans, prosecuting, told the court Muse made her asylum application on the grounds she had a well-founded fear of persecution if she returned to Somalia.

Besides the murder of her two brothers, she said her niece had been raped, tortured and beaten and that she herself had been gang-raped while three months’ pregnant, leading to a miscarriage.

Between June 2004 and May 2010, Muse, from Neasden, North-West London, claimed £261,358.14 in income support, disability living allowance for one of her children and carer’s allowance for herself.

The total included child benefit, child tax credits and housing benefit from various councils.

She received £112,985.51 from the borough of Camden and lived in a four-bedroom property there.

Judge Stephen Holt, sentencing Muse, told her: ‘One of the most serious aspects of this case is your cynical, dishonest manipulation of the whole system of asylum.’ Condemning her deceit, he said: ‘It was fraud from the outset. It was professionally planned. Your actions harm the people who really do need and deserve asylum.

‘In total you took somewhere in the region of £261,358.14 from the British taxpayer and have shown absolutely no remorse.’

Investigating the case cost taxpayers a further £150,000.

Muse had denied obtaining money transfers by deception, fraud by false representation, 12 counts of making false representations, four counts of receiving overpayments of benefits and five counts of fraud.

Migrationwatch chairman Sir Andrew Green said: ‘It is absolutely essential in a case like this that her citizenship be revoked and she should be removed.

‘All scams of this kind are deeply offensive to the public and undermine support for genuine refugees. It seems to have been a deeply cynical scam from the start.’


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