Two Malawian sisters have dominated headlined in British media as they are among 12 people who have been sentenced to prison in the UK for plotting to claim more than £450,000 ($586,000) in maternity payments for babies which did not exist.
Tiwone Dokowe, aged 36, and Walusungu Ngwira, 39, were each starting six-year jail sentences for their part in the racket .
They were jailed last week.
The two Malawians got involved in the swindle reportedly organised by their brother Henry Baza, who was interviewed by investigators but fled the country before he could be arrested and is now believed to be in Malawi.
The two sisters had each been sent to prison in June 2012 for 16 months after being convicted of a carbon copy fraud, Wolverhampton Crown heard.
They were locked up for 16 months and 20 months respectively in June 2012 for illegally pocketing £58,000 worth of maternity allowance, as well as housing and council tax benefits totalling around £17,000.
Judge Barry Berlin told mother-of-three Dokowe: “I am satisfied your activities in this criminal conspiracy began as soon as you were released.
“You are a practised and professional fraudster of public funds who recruited friends and family.
“You knew the full extent of this conspiracy and played a leading role in your escalating criminal career.”
The judge said to Ngwira, who also has three children: “You are a ruthless woman whose insatiable greed dictates your behaviour.”
Other members of the group were given sentences ranging from 14 months to seven years.
Others locked up include pay roll manager Tapiwa Madziwa, a 37-year-old economics graduate from Rightwell East, Peterborough, who made a bid to escape when the trial was due to start but was detained at Heathrow Airport as he prepared to board a flight to Ethiopia. He was jailed for six-and-a-half years.
Tinashe Sagomba, aged 38, who had almost £40,000 paid into three bank accounts used by him after making multiple false maternity allowance claims, was given a five-year sentence.
Others jailed for their parts in the fraud; Patience Kanjira – sentenced to 14 months in prison but suspended for two years, Liberty Masunda, 43, Toad Tagarira, 50, Kudakwashe Mhembere, 37, Faith Mavis Tagarira, 41, 19, Casper Mawoko, 36.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :