The arrests, made in Ilford and Seven Kings, were the result of cooperation between local police, immigration officers, environmental health officers and CITB’s own corporate investigators. Both men have been detained, cautioned and have had their fake CSCS and Security Industry Authority (SIA) cards revoked.
It further emerged that also at the two addresses were 11 illegal immigrants, five of whom were arrested immediately and the remainder taken to Becket House Immigration Centre for interview by immigration officers.
CITB fraud investigator Ian Sidney said: “These arrests highlight the benefits of partner agencies working together to tackle identity fraud and related criminality. While CITB’s main objective is to uphold the integrity of its test and card schemes to ensure safety in the UK construction industry, it is clear that different types of crime are also being committed by the same groups of individuals. Joint operations like these send the message that CITB will continue to work with other law enforcement agencies in fighting all types of unlawful activity.”
CITB has been working with the London Metropolitan Police over the past 18 months. One man, arrested in July last year, was found guilty of candidate impersonation at 48 HS&E tests, and in March another man, whose case has since been passed to staff at the UK Border Agency, was arrested for using a fraudulent HS&E pass to obtain CPCS (Construction Plant Competence Scheme) and CSCS cards.
Rob Squires, CITB delivery manager for testing and card services, said: “These recent arrests demonstrate CITB is committed to taking a much more robust approach in dealing with individuals who are trying to cheat the system. People who are taking tests for other people or applying for cards with fake passes will be found out and dealt with.”
There are in excess of 500,000 HS&E tests conducted every year and since 2003 almost 300,000 CPCS cards have been issued in the UK.