Fraudster arrested in West Yorkshire seven years after entering UK illegally adopted fake identity to set up his own construction company earning £4,000 a month

A man who entered the UK illegally and used fake documents to set up his own construction company told immigration officers he was able to earn £4,000 a month.

By Tony Gardner
Thursday, 15th July 2021, 4:45 pm

Bilbil Qenani used a range of false passports, driving licences and identity cards in a number of different nationalities for more than seven before he was arrested during a Home Office investigation into an Albanian organised crime group.

A court heard Qenani took on an alias and set up his own business - Qenani Construction - which enabled him to obtain work in the building industry.

The 25-year-old used fake documents to obtain a national insurance number and even managed to return home to Albania before getting back into the UK undetected.

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Bilbil Qenani was jailed for 32 for possessing fake identity documents and fraud.

Leeds Crown Court heard Qenani and another man, Albert Kellezi, were arrested as part of an investigation by the Home Office and Regional Organised Crime Unit into an organised crime group.

Bashir Ahmed, prosecuting, said it was believed the defendants were involved in supplying false identity documents in order to assist others to enter the UK illegally via Ireland.

As part of the investigation officers executed a search warrant at a flat on Blackmoorfoot Road, Huddersfield, on April 28 this year.

As the officers were trying to gain entry to the flat Qenani was seen to drop a small bag out of a window onto a ledge below.

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The bag was recovered and contained documents including passports, identity cards and driving licences.

A bag containing 13 passports with Qenani's photograph was also found.

Some of documents were recovered had Kellezi's photograph.

Kellezi told the search officers that he would be able to tell them which documents were genuine and which were fake.

A UK driving licence and an Italian identity document was also found in Qenani's name.

Documents in the name of another Albanian national currently being prosecuted for immigration offences were seized.

Mr Ahmed said Qenani had been using the alias Davide Mapelli since 2017.

He used that name to register as the director of Qenani Construction.

The business has links to addresses in Luton and Kent.

Qenani's phone was seized and contained messages relating to arrangements for the illegal entry of others into the UK.

Qenani claimed the cash was not his but belonged to his cousin.

During an interview with immigration officers he admitted entering the UK illegally in 2013.

Qenani said he went back to Albania six years later before returning to the UK, using a false document to get from Dublin to Liverpool in 2019.

Qenani said nine of the fake documents belonged to him.

He admitted using them to assume the identity of Davide Mapelli.

He also accepted using fake documents to obtain a national insurance number, mobile phone contracts and motor insurance as well as setting up the construction company.

The prosecutor said: "He said it was easy to earn around £4,000 per month in the UK and that some of the documents seized were to get some of his cousins in to the UK."

Kellezi was interviewed and told the officers he had entered the UK illegally in 2019.

The 28-year-old said he had been working cash-in-hand as a tiler in the Huddersfield area.

Kellezi accepted purchasing fake identity documents from an unknown man in London.

Qenani pleaded guilty to 16 counts of possessing or controlling identity documents with intent, fraud and entering the UK without leave.

Kellezi pleaded guilty to 16 counts of possessing or controlling identity documents with intent and entering the UK without leave.

Mr Bergenthal said Qenani had also been training to be a plumber.

The barrister said Qenani initially entered the country on the back of a lorry in 2013.

He added: "In essence, he is a man who was working and using the identity documents in order to enable himself to work in this country."

Qenani was jailed for 32 months.

Judge Simon Batiste said: "You are a man who has been in the UK for approximately seven years and have been using these documents and multiple identities to enable you to work and carry out activities, including flying back to Albania.

"These offences, given the nature of them and the way you flouted the immigration controls, calls for a significant custodial sentence."

Kate Riekstina, for Kellezi, said her client had also committed the offences in order to obtain work so he could support his family.

Kellezi was jailed for eight months.