21 JANUARY 2013
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Convicted airline fraudster Victor Bassey is facing deportation after officials obtained proof of his Nigerian nationality. Mr Bassey was jailed for two years in 2010 for setting up fake North-East airline Excelsis, and is being held by the UK Border Agency after being released from prison. He refused to name his home country.
The Northern Echo reports that Nigerian officials have now accepted Bassey is originally from their country. He was jailed for two years in December 2010 after pleading guilty to three charges of fraudulent trading, four charges of obtaining services dishonestly and a single charge of possessing articles for use in fraud.
The court heard how Bassey set up Excelsis in June 2009, promising to restore the air link between Durham Tees Valley Airport and Heathrow.
A team of experienced airline managers was recruited, but Bassey's boasts turned out to be a flight of fancy. The fraudster used fake documents to suggest he had access to millions of dollars from US banks. Far from being a high-flying businessman, he lived in a terraced house in Middlesbrough. Staff were never paid and several are now seriously out of pocket having spent their money in a bid to get the airline off the ground. www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/10169142
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