Gambian born Caockmari Omoike ,36 entered the UK as a Swedish national using a Swedish passport.
Caockmari Omoike of Lansdown Road, Crumpsall and Nyima Njai of Woodlands Road, Crumpsall ,one and the same person, made tax credit claims for a total of 18 children (9 each) for payments in excess of £940 a week.
Omoike began to claim Child Tax Credit from the end of January 2006 and Salford City Council's housing benefit investigation team and HMRC investigators got wind of the fraud in April 2006 - she had made over 200 telephone calls to the Tax Credit Helpline amending the size of her families. On the 9th June 2006 she was arrested at her one room flat on Lansdown Road to face trial for fraudulent tax credit claims totalling over £23,900
Omoike falsely claimed to work 16 hours per week to qualify for childcare. EU nationals living and working in the UK are allowed to claim tax credits under EU law.
She was first arrested in June 2006 and searches of her single room rented flat in Manchester it was established there were no children, and documents were found including ;
1.Award notices of tax credit in the names of Omoike and Nja
2. A postal redirection existed in the names of Omoike and Njai to redirect post to a PO box in Gambia 3. 3. Wire money transfers to Gambia (money also went to Sweden)
4. An unused return air ticket to Gambia for a future date
5. Multiple identity cards were seized in the names Omoike and Njai;
Omoike admitted the fraud, was released on bail and then led the Police a wild Goose chase for over 12 months via Armagh, and Cardiff before arrest and remand in custody on the 29th October 2007. In court on 10th January 2008 she pleaded guilty to 11 counts of Tax Credit Fraud ( £23,902.44) and three counts of Housing Benefit fraud (£3,498).
It isn't only Judge Anthony Ensor who is "concerned" about the simplicity with which she was able to claim for so many non-existent children, apparently without evidence of birth certificates.
It is impossible to believe she acted alone, or that other fraudsters aren't operating identical or similiar (so far) undetected scams. As the HMRC have managed to mislay the complete database of every family claiming tax credits, protestations that procedures are in place, routines have been re-examined, lessons have been learnt give the tax payer no confidence whatsoever .... and with unkown numbers of EU nationals arriving at Victoria bus station, Hull, Felixstowe, Harwich , Dover, Portsmouth and Poole docks and Stansted Airport every hour ....
Suspect fraud ? Call HM Revenue & Customs confidential line 0800 59 5000
Help required with tax credits ? Call Tax Credit Helpline 0845 300 3900
Pic : We don't intend to suggest that you money around with the HMRC but Gambia is a good place to get away from them for some ideas of fun in the sun try