Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Jail for illegal Aberdeen worker caught in organised crime investigation

The new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre. 
Kupa is one of a number of illegal workers thought to have been found working on the project.
The new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre. Kupa is one of a number of illegal workers thought to have been found working on the project.

An Aberdeen construction worker caught up in a Home Office probe into illegal workers and organised crime has been jailed.

Rebani Kupa was part of the workforce on the new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre but has now been sentenced to 12 months behind bars.

The Albanian national spent more than 14 years working in Scotland using faked documents and under an assumed name and nationality.

His illegal status escaped notice until the UK Government launched an investigation into an Albanian organised crime syndicate.

That involved officials looking at staff working with a number of firms, including Kupa Steelfixing Ltd, which is one of the sub-contractors on the giant AECC project.

As many as seven Albanians – including Kupa – were subsequently detained following Home Office visits to the city.

Kupa Steelfixing Ltd has denied any involvement with organised crime, while the accused has denied any involvement in the running of the firm, despite his surname.

The 35-year-old, described as a prisoner at Edinburgh, admitted being in possession of a faked UK resident permit in the name of Rebani Mehaj on the AECC construction site on May 16, 2017.

He also admitted using a false identity and false name in order to work when he would otherwise have been disqualified from doing so by way of his immigration status.

Kupa claimed to be a Kosovan national and gained false paperwork in order to move to Scotland for the first time in 2000.

He remained in the country for around eight years and then returned in 2012, using the same assumed identity, and continuing to work until Home Office officials swooped on the Bucksburn construction site.

Kupa told Aberdeen Sheriff Court he had worked throughout his time in Scotland and had always paid national insurance and tax.

That work ethic was not, however, enough to persuade Sheriff William Summers to stay his hand.

He told Kupa: “These are serious offences.

“They offend against the integrity of the Home Office immigration system and there is no alternative to custody.”

The court was told the accused’s immigration status remained “unclear”.

The Robertson construction group, which is leading the AECC project, has pledged to assist with any further Home Office investigations.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]