A MAN is not allowed to work in the security industry again after he was found to have fraudulently written his own references to obtain a licence.

Richard Mbembe-Babaku, from Atherton, is a former security guard who held a legitimate licence with the Security Industry Authority (SIA) until it was revoked last April.

By law, security operatives working under contract must hold and display a valid SIA licence in order to work in the UK.

Mbembe-Babaku lodged an appeal against this decision to revoke his licence, which the SIA made following "two separate undeclared convictions" in 2020.

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Fraudulent references written

On Monday, January 23, 2023, Manchester Magistrates Court heard that the former security guard wrote two fraudulent character references in support of his appeal, as he was unable to find legitimate referees.

The SIA’s licensing team became suspicious as the references used the same font and form of words.

Starting a criminal investigation into Mbembe-Babaku, SIA investigators went to the addresses of the people who had supposedly sent the character references.

Residents and neighbours revealed that the named people didn’t live at the addresses.

During his second interview under caution in July 2022, Mbembe-Babaku admitted his fraud and claimed that it was a market research experiment to see how to obtain an SIA licence.

He owned up to inventing four references in total.

At Manchester Magistrates Court, Mr Mbembe-Babaku was fined £120, ordered to pay £250 in prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £34.

He now has a criminal record and will not be able to work in the private security industry again.

Security fraud 'heightens the risk to the public'

Nicola Bolton, one of the SIA’s criminal investigations managers, said: "The significant fraud element in this case heightens the risk to the public by Mbembe-Babaku.

"He attempted to obtain his licence on appeal using trickery and deception.

"The SIA’s robust vetting process in reviewing his appeal, and the speedy and thorough investigation by our criminal investigation team, left the defendant no option other than to enter guilty pleas due to the overwhelming case against him."