Peterborough Passport Office worker jailed for illegally helping girl gain a passport she was not entitled to
A Peterborough Passport Office worker who used his position to illegally obtain a passport for a girl has been jailed.
Irfan Khaliq (35), of Bourges Boulevard, was locked up for a year at Peterborough Crown Court after pleading guilty to conspiracy to fraud.
Judge David Farrell QC, sentencing, told Khaliq his actions had put national security at risk.
Khaliq sat with his head bowed as he was sentenced on Thursday.
The court was told Khaliq was contacted by a woman in Pakistan, who said her daughter was being abused.
She asked Khaliq to arrange to get a passport for the girl.
He used the computer system at the office to get details of the girl’s father - who is a British citizen - to fill in a form applying for the passport.
The document was issued to the girl, who is currently living in the United Kingdom.
The court heard that the girl would have been entitled to a British passport if an application had been made with the co-operation of her father - but he had said he did not want to help.
A decision about the girl’s future status in the UK has not been made.
Khaliq’s offending was only brought to light when the father of the girl contacted the Passport Office to complain about his details being used.
Roy James, defending, said Khaliq was the sole bread winner for his young family, and a spell in prison would hit them hard.
He said: “He has a positive good character.
“He had been working at the Passport Office for a few months.
“Everything he did in his job was being recorded. There was no attempt to cover his steps.
“He is now a self employed taxi driver, and a spell in jail will make it difficult to get his taxi badge back when he is released.
“His health is not good - he suffers type two diabetes.
“He has been an honest, hard working family man.”
Judge Farrell was asked to consider a suspended sentence by Mr James - but he said the breach of trust was too serious for him to avoid an immediate spell behind bars.
He said: “Anyone who uses their position of trust at the Passport Office to fraudulently cause a passport to be issued commits an extremely serious offence.
“Issuing of passports is at the very root of society and the borders of the UK. If those at the Passport Office abuse their position in a way that enables persons not entitled to come in then they are risking the security of the country.”
He said the case would cause an erosion of confidence in the Passport Office, and said there was a clear breach of trust.