Suspended sentence and community work for using false passport

Taxi sign

A High Wycombe man has been sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and required to do 120 hours of unpaid work for using a false passport to obtain a taxi driver licence.

Mr Asif Malik, 36, of Chiltern Court, Ogilvie Road, was sentenced following an earlier guilty plea to using a false instrument contrary to Section 3 of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 when he appeared at High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 14 August.

This fraud came to light when he had to apply for a licence renewal, at which stage he revealed his true immigration status as his false passport had expired.

The magistrates noted that the offence crossed the custody threshold because Mr Malik has deliberately used a false document which he had knowingly acquired and used to obtain a hackney carriage and private hire licence, but decided to suspend the sentence of imprisonment due to his personal circumstances.

Along with the suspended sentence and community work, Mr Malik was ordered to pay the prosecution costs of £1,400 along with a victim surcharge of £85.

Cllr David Watson, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, said: “This was a deliberate fraud against the council to obtain the licence. We want to reassure our residents that we take any fraud seriously and won’t hesitate to prosecute the dishonest few who choose to abuse the system.”

Residents who are aware of any suspected fraud are invited to contact the corporate investigations team anonymously at fraud.investigations@wycombe.gcsx.gov.uk.