[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 January, 2005, 17:46 GMT
Bogus doctor jailed for 10 years
Barian Baluchi
Baluchi had no qualifications and no medical experience
A bogus doctor who made 1.5m helping hundreds of asylum seekers remain in Britain has been jailed for 10 years.

Barian Baluchi claimed to be a consultant psychiatrist at the Kimia Clinic in central London.

He admitted 30 charges, at Middlesex Crown Court, of preparing psychiatric reports on hundreds of asylum seekers.

The former mini-cab driver, from Hampton, south west London, convinced authorities he was an eminent psychiatrist and a professor.

The offences - committed between 1998 and 2003 - include 12 of obtaining money by deception, perjury, causing actual bodily harm and two of procuring a registration by making false declarations.

Middlesex Crown Court heard on Wednesday that among his many patients was one who paid 150 for him to carve a wart off his penis.

Your criminality almost, even for a practised fraudster, falls into new territory in this case.
Judge Henry Blackswell
Another became addicted to anti-depressants prescribed for neck ache and a third was left in agony after "treatment" for a painful back.

Baluchi also prepared numerous reports for the Immigration Appeals Tribunal, often arguing applicants would suffer psychiatric trauma if repatriated.

Judge Henry Blackswell told Baluchi: "Your criminality almost, even for a practised fraudster, falls into new territory in this case."

Judge Blackswell said it was only "through luck" that his so-called treatment of patients had not resulted in permanent injury.

'Stolen identities'

He came under investigation in November 2003 when the NHS wrote to more than 2,000 patients warning them they could have been examined by a bogus doctor.

The Westminster Primary Care Trust letter urged worried patients to return to their GP or ring the police.

The court heard Baluchi claimed to have trained at Harvard, Colombia, Newcastle and Sussex Universities.

He also claimed to have attended Leeds Medical School and said he had lectured on both sides of the Atlantic.

In reality the Iran-born fraudster and asylum seeker, who began his life in Britain waiting tables and taking fares, had neither any qualifications nor experience.

Sophisticated fraud

The father-of-two set about reinventing himself in the late 90s when he bought a PhD from America and assumed the identity of Abdul Doshoki, a former trainee doctor who had let his provisional registration lapse.

Despite the ploy involving two name changes in less than a year and the fact one of his victims sent a warning letter to the medical authorities, the General Medical Council (GMC) failed to react.

A GMC spokeswoman said Baluchi operated a "very well researched and sophisticated system of fraud."

"We have made changes to our systems since this individual first sought registration to strengthen our registration checks," she said.

"We have controls in place that enable us to identify individuals that are attempting to commit identity fraud, including asking for a doctor's passport or ID card and their medical certificates."


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific