A CHAPLAIN and his wife have received jail sentences for an elaborate immigration scam that saw them use false identities and three marriages to obtain UK citizenship.
The Rev Samuel Bisaso and his wife Rebecca Muwonge were jailed for 18 months after they were found guilty of deception and identity fraud.
The couple, from Grimsby, were first married legitimately in London in 1996 by the then vicar of Tulse Hill John Sentamu, now Archbishop of York.
The Rev Bisaso, from Uganda, was a student at the time and the marriage pre-dated any immigration deception by the couple, however in order to remain in the UK they launched a plot to cheat immigration rules.
Ms Muwonge assumed the nationality of her niece, Proscovia Kasozi, who already had the right to stay in the UK. She then re-married Rev Bisaso under the name Kasozi in 1998.
Rev Bisaso then applied in the UK for indefinite leave to remain as the spouse of Kasozi.
However this meant Muwonge herself still did not have legitimate right to stay in the country, so in 1999 she entered into a third marriage with a Swedish national.
She then used this identity to apply and secure leave to remain in the UK for herself and her eldest son.
Her eldest daughter obtained Swedish citizenship.A 20-month investigation by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) unravelled the scam and the couple, both 44, were convicted following a trial in Hove, Sussex.
Suspicions had arisen after the Department for Work and Pensions provided evidence that Rev Bisaso, who worked as a chaplain for the Mission to Seafarers, was apparently married to two women.
The court heard that Muwonge used her true identity in 2002 when she accompanied Rev Bisaso to his ordination into the Church of England in 2002. The church authorities were unaware of the couple's second marriage.
Muwonge's brother-in-law, James Kasozi, was also convicted for playing a pivotal role in the conspiracy.
Muwonge's half sister Rose Kasozi was intercepted trying to re-enter the UK at Gatwick airport and was also arrested and charged.
The pair had used the leave to remain secured for their children to enable Muwonge and Bisaso to secure their own status.
The UKBA investigation team was praised for its work by Judge David Rennie, who presided over the case.
After the sentencing yesterday, UKBA assistant director Malcolm Bragg, said: "This was a deliberate and sophisticated scam designed to take advantage of British immigration laws for narrow personal gain.
"Working closely with other government departments and agencies, our specialist investigation team have identified and put a stop to a serious abuse of our immigration system.
"As the verdict shows, for those who involve themselves with immigration crime, the UK Border Agency has the capabilities to detect, detain and with our partners at the Crown Prosecution Service bring them to justice."
Bisaso and Muwonge were found guilty of possession of an falsely obtained UK passport, two counts of obtaining leave to remain by deception, and of making false statements relating to marriage.
Muwonge had earlier pleaded guilty to bigamy and aiding and abetting facilitation of her son and daughter.
James Kasozi was sentenced to 18 months for two counts of facilitating a non-EU national into the UK.
Rose Kasozi was sentenced to six months – suspended for 12 months – for one count of making false statements relating to marriage.