A FAILED asylum seeker called Innocent has been found guilty of tricking his way into the social work profession by fraudulently claiming £9,000 in student funding.
Innocent Mujaranji was a night attendant at the Royal Blind Asylum and School in Edinburgh and was registered as a residential child care worker.
Over a three year period between 2010 and 2013, Mr Mujaranji claimed £9,040 from the Student Awards Agency for his academic tuition fees despite being a citizen of Zimbabwe and therefore not entitled to the funding.
The failed asylum seeker did not make the school aware that criminal proceedings had been raised against him in connection with his false claim for student bursaries and funding.
A panel at the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) has now decided to remove Mr Mujaranji from the social workers’ register following a conduct meeting held in Dundee on October 5.
Mr Mujaranji was first employed by the Royal Blind Asylum and School in 2005 but was dismissed from his role with them in the Autumn of 2014.
In March 2015, he was sentenced to 150 hours of community payback order as a result of a conviction for his fraudulent claims and has now paid the full amount he claimed back to Student Awards Agency.
The SSSC findings of fact detailed from the case read: “Between 29 June 2010 and 12 June 2013, you did form a fraudulent scheme to obtain funding from the Scottish Ministers for tuition fees and bursaries.”
Mr Mujaranji claimed to have been born in Scotland and to have attended a Scottish school.
The report stated: “You had not been born in Scotland and were a failed asylum seeker and did receive funding in the sum of £9,040 to which you were not entitled and for which you were not eligible.”
Describing their reasoning for their removal decision, the SSSC report says: “This was a case where an order for removal was entirely appropriate.
“Your overall behaviour called into question your suitability to remain as a registered worker and the sub-committee concluded that it was entirely appropriate in the circumstances of this case to make a removal order.
“In doing so, the sub-committee recognised potential reputational and financial consequences for you but these were outweighed by the wider public interest in maintaining confidence in social services.”
When asked how Mr Mujaranji had managed to secure a role within the social services industry despite being a failed asylum seeker, a SSSC spokeswoman said: “With the exception of social workers and social work students, applicants for all other parts of the register must be in employment before applying for registration and it is the employer’s duty to carry out safe recruitment checks.
“When a worker applies to be on our Register we ask the employer to endorse the application which means they are confirming the identity of the applicant and that the information they have given in their application is correct.”
A Home Office spokeswoman said: ““We do not routinely comment on individual cases.”
The Royal Blind Asylum and School declined to comment.