A fraudster showed “breathtaking arrogance” when he tried more than 1,000 times to get a job as an NHS doctor despite not being properly qualified.
Bai Bai Ahmed Kabia, whose Russian medical qualifications are not valid in this country, sparked a nationwide alert in the health service after raising suspicions during a job interview in Plymouth.
Now the 46-year-old from South Shields is starting a 15-month term behind bars for his deception.
Suspicions were raised when Kabia’s glaring errors during a job interview “made it clear” he was not a doctor, fraud investigators at NHS Protect said yesterday.
Now, a jury at Newcastle Crown Court has found Kabia, of Hathersage Gardens, guilty of 12 counts of fraud by false representation because of his lies on a string of online applications to NHS trusts.
He was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment and said he had made more than 1,000 job applications, none of which were successful.
Kabia, who is originally from Sierra Leone but is now stateless, had studied as a doctor in Russia and moved to the UK in 1994. He trained as a podiatrist and worked for some time on a self-employed basis.
But after Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust raised the alarm, NHS Protect, which investigates wrongdoing in the NHS, put out a national alert to trusts across England and Wales.
The memo requested any information on job applications received from Kabia and investigators were staggered to learn the results.
NHS Protect proved that between November 2011 and February 2013, Kabia submitted 245 unsuccessful job applications to numerous NHS trusts to work as a doctor.
A sample was studied by NHS Protect investigators, and they all contained misrepresentations regarding his previous educational qualifications, professional memberships and employment history.
Kabia claimed to be registered as a doctor with the General Medical Council, to have been awarded an MSc from University College London and to be a member of the Royal College of Physicians – all of which was false.
Kabia was then arrested in a joint operation with Northumbria Police in July last year.
Dave Horsley, Anti-Fraud Specialist, NHS Protect, said today “Dr Kabia submitted job applications to the NHS that he knew to be false, trying to deceive his potential employers.
“Had he been successful, Dr Kabia‘s appointment would have given him direct access to treat patients. It is pleasing that Dr Kabia was unsuccessful in his applications and that NHS employment procedures were found to be robust and effective. The custodial sentence reflects the seriousness of these offences and will serve as a powerful deterrent to others.”
At sentencing, Kabia was told by the judge: “This type of offence is made more serious because it erodes the confidence of the public in the NHS. Dr Kabia showed breathtaking arrogance.”
During the proceedings, the Judge also commended NHS Protect’s Dave Horsley for his work on the case.