False identities catch up with fraudster

Thursday, 10 October 2013

A former Ghanaian national could lose her Australian citizenship after she was sentenced to eight months’ jail for identity fraud, Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash said today.

Senator Cash said Abena Saahene pleaded guilty to four identity fraud related offences at the Sydney Downing Centre Local Court earlier this week.

Her sentence was suspended upon entering into a good behaviour bond for a period of two years.

‘Ms Saahene’s offences included providing false identity information in an Australian citizenship application, Australian passport application, and opening and operating a bank account in Australia,’ Senator Cash said.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection will now make an assessment about Ms Saahene’s citizenship status, and whether it should be revoked.

Ms Saahene was an unlawful non-citizen when she lodged an Australian citizenship application in December 2000, using a false identity.
She then proceeded to apply for and obtain an Australian passport, and opened and operated a bank account using the same false identity.

Her sentence follows two other significant court outcomes this week involving migration and visa fraud.

Senator Cash said the convictions should serve as a reminder that the department and the courts would act against those who attempt to defraud migration programs.

‘The department takes this sort of fraudulent activity very seriously and will continue to investigate allegations of fraud,’ the minister said. ‘I commend the department for its excellent work which has led to three significant outcomes in the courts this week,’ she added.

Source: Senator Michaelia Cash, Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women: http://www.minister.immi.gov.au/media/mc/2013/mc208664.htm