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Swede caught in UK welfare scam

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12:05 CET+01:00
A Swedish citizen falsely claiming to have 18 children managed to cheat UK welfare authorities out of more than £20,000 ($39,000/247,000 kronor) before getting caught.

Caockmari Omoike, 36, a naturalized Swedish citizen from Gambia who has no children of her own, deceived officials from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs using multiple UK addresses and false names, according to the Daily Mail newspaper.

Taking advantage of rules allowing citizens from any EU country to claim benefits in the UK, Omoike, who also has an address in Malmö, first requested help to support an imaginary son named Mohammed.

In more than 200 calls to the Revenue and Customs help line, she eventually added names for eight additional children in a four month span.

She then repeated the scam under a different name and address, slightly altering the names and birth dates of the make-believe children.

Omoike plead guilty this week in a Manchester court to eleven counts of tax credit fraud and three counts of housing benefit fraud.

In handing down the one year jail sentence, Judge Anthony Ensor didn't mince words in expressing his feelings about Omoike and the lax oversight of British tax and welfare officials.

"You are a thoroughly dishonest person who lined your own pockets by making fraudulent claims," he said.

"It is disturbing that alarm bells did not ring when the seventh and eighth child were claimed for within weeks of the previous child appearing on the scene…I would hope that steps have been taken to ensure the authorities are more vigilant."

Judge Ensor further ordered Omoike to be deported following completion of her sentence.

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