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Ipswich: Outrage as criminal cannot be deported because she’s a criminal

PUBLISHED: 10:41 01 November 2012

One of the illegal immigrants who was found hiding during the raids in which Ong was arrested

One of the illegal immigrants who was found hiding during the raids in which Ong was arrested

Archant

AN inability to deport a criminal because she would be shunned for her criminality in her homeland, was today branded an “outrage” by Ipswich MP Ben Gummer.

While stressing it would never be right for a politician to criticise a judge, Mr Gummer was aghast the current human rights laws have allowed Ai Vee Ong, of Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich, to successfully fight her deportation to Malaysia.

Mr Gummer lambasted them as a “corrosive influence” on the British judicial system, and said he would be taking Ong’s case up with the Home Secretary.

Ong, was jailed for four years for exploiting illegal immigrants and other offences.

The 34-year-old was employed as company secretary for Temptations Buffet Ltd in Ipswich before her arrest in August 2008.

The Upper Tribunal for the Immigration and Asylum Chamber heard Ong has a common-law husband Chee Seng Liew, who was not involved in any criminality. The pair intend to set up a Chinese takeaway business using Mr Liew’s savings following her release.

An earlier appeal for Ong to remain in the country was thrown out on the grounds the judge regarded the public interest in Ong’s deportation as substantial, although her risk of re-offending was low.

Ong appealed and Judge D E Taylor of the Upper Tribunal has now overturned the decision, allowing Ong to stay in Britain.

It was said Ong’s removal would interfere with her right to a private and family life in the UK, and deportation would not be proportionate.

The court heard Ong had not told her family about her conviction, because she would be disowned due to the shame and disgrace.

Part of Judge Taylor’s conclusion read: “Mr Liew also states that they could not build a new life together in Malaysia because they would be discriminated against because of the Appellant’s criminal record.”

“I accept the evidence that the couple would find it very difficult in reality to go back to Malaysia with the stigma of her being a criminal and the problems which he would have establishing a business there, and becoming accepted in the Chinese community there when his wife is a convicted criminal.”

Mr Gummer said: “I would like to say is in this instance is if the law is being applied in this way it is an outrage.

“It shows what a mess the immigration system has become and how tough it is going to be to get it right again. It also provides another good example of why the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights, on which Ms Ong has relied, has become such a corrosive influence on our judicial system.”

Sentencing Ong and four other defendants in April 2010 Judge Peter Thompson said, “You were all prepared to ignore the law and take any opportunity you could to make money.

“Not one of you can say you only committed a minor breach of the law.”

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