People-smugglers who organised protest made false asylum claims

People-smuggling brothers who organised Albanian protest at Winston Churchill’s statue and boasted of ‘free tickets’ to Britain made false asylum claims to enter the UK

  • Taulant and Enkeleid Omi led a demonstration outside Westminster last year 
  • Home Office has discovered the brothers used false identities to enter the UK 

Two Albanian brothers who organised a protest in which their nation’s flag was draped over Winston Churchill’s statue lied to get into the UK, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

In November, Taulant and Enkeleid Omi led a demonstration in Westminster in which 1,500 of their countrymen proclaimed they were not criminals – after Home Secretary Suella Braverman said that Britain faced an ‘invasion’ of illegal migrants.

Now it has emerged that the brothers – who this newspaper has previously revealed were convicted people smugglers – made a false asylum claim to enter the UK.

The Home Office discovered they used false identities to claim they were fleeing the 1998 war in Kosovo, rather than coming from peaceful Albania.

In November, Taulant and Enkeleid Omi led a demonstration in Westminster in which 1,500 of their countrymen proclaimed they were not criminals

In a letter sent to Taulant last month, the Home Office’s fraud team said that revoking his citizenship had been considered, but rejected it as it ‘does not fall within our policy’.

It said: ‘The Secretary of State was considering depriving you of your British citizenship on the grounds that it had been obtained as a result of fraud.’

The letter went on to offer Taulant an amnesty to correct his record using his real name.

But in response, he mocked the Government, boasting on social media that he has received ‘free tickets’ to the UK and the Home Office has ‘done me a favour’.

The Albanian nationalist, 46, also appeared on the Euronews TV channel to boast about being cleared – and even offered help to other Albanians who also entered Britain illegally. 

He said: ‘The Home Office in that letter is telling me yes, you made an application with fake details. Whoever has done this did me a huge favour, saving me huge amounts of money to correct the details. In the end I am so happy about all of this. No sanctions at all for me.’

It is understood that the Home Office was ‘hamstrung’ and unable to remove the brothers’ citizenship on a technicality. Taulant’s first application for asylum was refused but he won an appeal in 2006 and later acquired British citizenship.

In May 2013, the brothers and another accomplice were caught by Border Force officers attempting to smuggle someone into the UK illegally. 

They were found guilty at Canterbury Crown Court in September 2015 and were both given 12-month prison sentences, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service.

Taulant declined to comment last night. A Home Office spokesman said: ‘Our utmost priority is the safety and security of the UK. All cases are assessed individually and deprivation of citizenship is used proportionately.’

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