A Southend man without the legal right to work in the UK was caught with a forged Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence after he was injured in a car accident in Bristol.
On Monday 14 November, Ahmed Altorshan was handed a 17 weeks’ jail sentence, suspended for 12 months, by Southend-on-Sea Magistrates’ Court.
He was also ordered to do 120 hours unpaid work and pay £500 prosecution costs plus a victim surcharge of £128. The sentence follows his guilty plea to fraud on 30 September 2022.
The SIA brought the prosecution following the road accident when the car that Mr Altorshan was driving hit a tree in Bristol on 29 April 2021. As Mr Altorshan was injured, he was taken to hospital. Police officers investigating the incident recovered multiple identity cards, including a forged SIA door supervisor’s licence, from the car.
The forgery was of a genuine licence held by a legitimate licence holder. Avon and Somerset Police referred the incident to Home Office Immigration, who contacted the SIA.
Essex Police went to Mr Altorshan’s address in Southend-on-Sea to search the property for further evidence.
As Mr Altorshan was not at the address, SIA investigators sought an interview under caution with him (with the aid of an interpreter) on 28 February 2022 at a separate address.
He admitted to paying for the fraudulent document but claimed that he did not use the licence to gain work.
The presiding district judge said: “You paid for this card to be made as you had been unable to find employment.
“At the time there was a good reason for that as due to your immigration status you could not legally work in this country… you could have put members of the public at risk as you would be unable to protect them without the proper training or you would have had access to vulnerable individuals without the relevant safeguarding training.”
Jenny Hart, one of the SIA’s criminal investigations managers said: “Mr Altorshan’s road accident revealed the possession of a fraudulent SIA licence, which is both illegal and unacceptable.
“We are grateful to our enforcement partners Avon and Somerset Police, Essex Police, and Home Office Immigration for helping to identify this licensing fraud. The licensing regime is there to protect the public by ensuring that licence holders are fit and proper and suitably trained.
“Thankfully, Mr Altorshan did not use the licence but he broke the law, has been handed a serious sentence and now has a criminal record.”