Company director Gentian Dedej has been fined after pleading guilty to purporting to be a Security Industry Authority (SIA) contractor.
Appearing at Willesden Magistrates’ Court on 14 March, Dedej, of Cricklewood, London, was fined £1,666 and required to pay prosecution costs of £2,416.33 and a victim surcharge of £167 by 31 May.
The court heard SIA’s London investigators carried out a routine licence inspection in Wembley on 7 July 2021 during the run up to the Euro Final 2021 at Wembley Stadium.
During that visit, they attended a nearby Irish theme bar on Wembley Park Drive and checked the SIA licence of Erjon Xhika.
The licence was fake and when he was questioned by investigators, he disappeared from the venue and the fake licence was seized. Erjon Xhika will appear in court on 16 October 2023.
The manager of the venue gave the SIA investigator the security company’s business card which featured the SIA’s Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) logo.
The sole director of the security company was Gentian Dedej. As the business was only several months old it was not possible for it to have achieved SIA approved contractor status.
The SIA began a criminal investigation and on 11 August 2021, SIA investigators requested information from Dedej and he failed to supply the requested information.
On 1 September, Dedej replied to SIA investigators but again failed to supply them with the information they sought. Dedej joined SIA investigators for an interview under caution on 23 November 2021 at the SIA’s Head Office.
During the interview an account was given to the SIA which implied that Dedej knew the man who was using a fake SIA licence.
He implied that he had never employed the man although he did admit to failing to provide the SIA with the information it required.
During the meeting Dedej indicated that he would provide a full response.
The following day Dedej sent the SIA investigator an e-mail containing payslips for the employees that did not match the previous day’s responses or those he gave during the interview.
On 21 December 2021, Dedej’s solicitors sent further documentation.
But this did not match those documents received previously. Mr Dedej’s solicitors indicated that they would provide further documentation, and this never occurred.
The magistrate said at Dedej’s sentencing:”These are matters which can be dealt with by way of a financial penalty.
“That is not to undermine the serious nature of them. The court has to send a message that individuals cannot claim to be members of approved schemes which they are not.
“The way to make that message clear is to pass a fine that recognises your income and the seriousness of your offending.”
Nicola Bolton, one of the SIA’s Criminal Investigations Managers said that this case demonstrates the importance of the licensing regime which is there to protect the public particularly during a time like the Euros tournament.
She said: “Dedej falsely claimed to be an approved contractor. The SIA Approved Contractor Scheme provides a recognised hallmark of quality within the private security industry.
“Legitimate approved contractors were potentially denied valuable business by the actions of Dedej who skewed the security market during the run up to the Euro 2021 tournament.
“The SIA will continue to seek out and pursue those businesses that illegally promote themselves as being accredited approved contractors.
“His licence has been suspended and he will likely lose his licence and will not be able to supply private security as he will have a criminal record.”
By law, security operatives working under contract must hold and display a valid SIA licence.