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UK NRI jailed six month for using false passport to travel to Canada


London. March 19, 2007
Sudesh Sharma

NRI Simranpal Singh Kooner, 30, Midlands was jailed for six months when he pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to possessing a false identity document with intent.

Kathryn Roughton, Prosecuting lawyer said that on Feb 17, Simranpa Singh-Kooner tried to check in for an Air India flight to Toronto, but when he handed over his passport, the clerk on the check-in desk became suspicious.

It was revealed that the British passport, which had Simranpal Singh-Kooner's picture in it but was in the name of Kulwinder Singh, was false.

In May 2005, Simranpal got a work permit visa which allowed him to enter the UK and his visa expire on May 2006. He tried to get visa to Canada on Indian Passport but was refused. This is the reason it prompting him to secure a false British passport and try to travel to Canada.

After his arrest, Simranpal Singh-Kooner lied again, he gave his name as Harpreet Singh and claimed he had entered the country illegally in the back of a lorry in 2006. He also said that he had paid 2,000 pounds for the passport and travel documents because he wanted to start a new life in Canada.

When he had been charged in that name then again he revealed his true identity to the police and confessed that he had actually entered the country as a legal immigrant.

Defending Singh, Tom Schofield said: "I am sure Your Honour will see the irony of this case, that he was trying to leave the country rather than enter and he was legally here.

A West Midlands Police spokesperson said: "We have been made aware of this issue and are monitoring the situation alongside Birmingham International Airport."

According to the court, Recorder Nigel Baker told him that you will be deported after jail terms and said, "One of the ironies of this case is that you had permission to stay in this country, and yet you went on to commit this offence to try to get out of the country to Canada."