Former security director sentenced to five years in jail for immigration and security offences

SIA investigations have realised another successful prosecution of law-breakers

SIA investigations have realised another successful prosecution

On Friday 30 January, Sandra Okah (now Daudirgaite) of Chapel Drive, Dartford in Kent was sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court to five years’ imprisonment for immigration and security offences.

In the summer of 2012, the Security Industry Authority (SIA) received intelligence about Blue Feathers Guarding Ltd of Woolwich, London. The intelligence identified illegal practices at Blue Feathers Guarding Ltd, including immigration offences.

The Regulator duly shared this information with the Home Office and Blue Feathers Guarding Ltd’s offices were subsequently searched. During the search procedure, a large amount of forged documentation was found and seized and arrests were then made.

Sandra Okah was married to Anthony Okah, who ran the Blue Feathers Guarding Ltd security company with his business partner Victor Chiazor. In March 2014, both men were sentenced for assisting unlawful immigration, running a security company without the necessary SIA licences and for employing unlicensed individuals who did not have the right to work in the UK.

In November 2014, at Blackfriars Crown Court, Sandra Okah was found guilty of conspiring to facilitate illegal immigration and deploying unlicensed security officers.

Okah was subject to pre-sentence reports and sentencing was postponed until 30 January 2015.

In sentencing, Judge Sullivan noted that Sandra Okah was one of the directors of Blue Feathers Guarding Ltd, and that she was married to the other director. She had helped set up the company and was a bank signatory. She was well aware of what was happening.

The Court heard that a third-to-half of the Blue Feathers Guarding Ltd workforce had no right to work in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, they were exploited by having to work long hours and were paid below the National Minimum Wage.

Commenting on the case, the SIA’s head of investigation Darren Woodhouse stated: “The sentencing of Sandra Okah sends out a very strong message to those in the security industry who chose to work outside of the law. The SIA is committed to working with its enforcement partners in order to tackle serious and organised crime and disrupt criminal activity across the UK.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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