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News

Unlicensed UK Guarding Director Pays Heavy Penalty

Security Industry Authority : 03 October, 2011  (Company News)
Investigators at the Security Industry Authority secure conviction against London-based guarding operator for operating without licence
Unlicensed UK Guarding Director Pays Heavy Penalty
A security director has been ordered to pay almost £25,000 after being found guilty of working unlicensed and failing to provide the Security Industry Authority with information.

Celestine Okogwu, 52, had his licence revoked by the SIA, but continued to work as director of Dartford-based Absolute Guards UK Limited, supplying security guards to a site in Northolt.

SIA investigators contacted Okogwu asking him to provide details of the company. When no response was received an investigation was launched, during which he failed to attend an interview and failed to provide material to document the company’s activities and to whom it supplied guards.

During prosecution by the SIA, Okogwu failed to attend court on three occasions, but was convicted in his absence at Dartford Magistrates’ Court and a warrant for his arrest was issued. He was sentenced on 7 September 2011.

Okogwu, of Birbetts Road, Mottingham, south east London, was fined £3,000 for working as an unlicensed director and £10,000 for two counts of failing to provide information to the SIA. He was also ordered to pay costs of £11,731.86 and a £15 victim surcharge. The fines and costs totalled £24,746.86.

SIA Head of Investigation Nathan Salmon said: “We are pleased with the outcome of this investigation. Mr Okogwu was not compliant with the law and demonstrated an unwillingness to cooperate. This case sends a strong message to non-compliant individuals that courts take such failings seriously and are willing to hand out strong penalties.”

The SIA is continuing its investigations into Absolute Guards UK Limited.
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