A London-based Ghanaian, Solomon Melchizedec, who is a manager of a cleaning and catering services company in the United Kingdom,has been arrested by the police in London for allegedly issuing fake passports to more than 350 illegal immigrants before recruiting them and sharing their wages with them.
Also arrested last Thursday, were two nationals of the Democratic Republic of Congo who are believed to be his accomplices in the scam. They are Alan Ilunga, 48, and Florence Makeni, 28, general manager and administrative manager, respectively, of ISS Mediclean.
They were picked up from their various homes in London and Luton after the Racial Equality Council and executives of a hospital in Surrey where the company was undertaking a cleaning and catering services contract had raised concerns with the police over the immigration status of some of the workers the company had recruited.
Undercover investigators had worked closely with the suspects months before they were arrested. Meanwhile, the UK Border Agency has uncovered hundreds of fake documents, including national insurance numbers, security passes and passports belonging to some of the workers recruited by the suspects as cleaners and caterers.
According to reports, the three senior management staff often threatened the workers, who were mostly Ghanaians, with dismissal if they refused to share their wages with them. Channel 4 TV News last Friday quoted a whistle blower as saying that the suspects had a “stranglehold” on the workers to prevent them from talking about how they were being exploited on the job by the suspects.
Other media reports also suggested that the three Africans were working illegally in the UK and that they had risen through the ranks to management positions with fake documents. Investigations by the Daily Graphic found that Melchizedec was also known as Solomon Ansah and that he had earned a living as a self-styled pastor in Accra more than 10 years ago.
Source: The Chronicle
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