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Illegal immigrant won't sign notification

Published Jul 21, 2010


A British fugitive, arrested in Cape Town as an illegal immigrant, refused to sign a notification that declared him an undesirable person, the Cape Town magistrate's court heard on Wednesday.

Darren Michael Finch, 39, was arrested at his rented home in Llandudno on the Atlantic Seaboard, after an application from the UK authorities for his extradition back to the UK.

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Finch was refused bail in the Cape Town regional court on Monday when he tried to secure his release from detention in the extradition proceedings.

On Wednesday, faced with three charges under the immigration legislation, he launched a second bail application, this time before magistrate Grant Engel.

He is charged with fraudulently obtaining a passport to travel in and put of South Africa under the false name of Mark Maine.

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He faces a second charge of entering South Africa with a fraudulent passport and a third of illegally operating a business in Cape Town.

Home Affairs operating officer Lionel Martin told the court he started his investigation on July 14, with an interview with Finch in a cell at the Cape Town magistrate's court.

Martin said he handed Finch a notification that declared him an undesirable person, but Finch refused to sign for it.

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Questioned by Maria Marshall a senior official with the Western Cape Directorate for Public Prosecutions, Martin said Finch was a British fugitive from justice which made him an undesirable person in terms of the Immigration Act.

When Martin served a notice of deportation on Finch as well, Finch demanded the presence of his lawyer, Leon van der Merwe.

Van der Merwe requested privacy with Finch and afterwards informed Martin that Finch wished to appeal the decision to declare him an undesirable person.

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Martin said two false passports were found at the Llandudno house, both with Finch's photograph on them.

One passport had the name Mark Andrew Maine on it and the other John Christopher Clark.

Finch used the Maine passport to move around the country.

Finch also had a temporary residence permit in the name of Maine issued at the OR Tambo international airport in February last year.

Martin's later visit to the British Consulate in Cape Town revealed that a passport in the name of Finch had been reported missing.

There was also a blockage placed on the passport in the names of Finch and Maine.

The hearing continues on Monday. - Sapa

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