A ‘fixer’ is accused of using his job with the contractors responsible for cleaning Sainsbury’s supermarkets to flout immigration rules – and cream cash from those for whom he found work.

Prosecutors claim Momodou Chune, 55, used his position firstly at ISS Facility Services and later, when they took over the contract, at Exclusive Contract Services Ltd (ECS) to employ illegal immigrants as cleaning staff in Sainsbury’s stores in Oxfordshire and Wiltshire.

Outlining the case against Chune and five others alleged to have been involved in the scheme or laundering the proceeds, Esther Schutzer-Weissmann told jurors at Oxford Crown Court on Thursday (April 28): “The prosecution say that this case is about exploitation; of people and of the system for financial gain.”

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She added: “I don’t need to tell you it is a criminal offence to work in the United Kingdom if you don’t have the right to do that.

“Equally, and for that reason, I don’t need to tell you there is a commercial and illicit industry in assisting those who might not be allowed to live, to work and to earn in the UK and that is in breach of immigration rules.”

Chune, a Gambian national who first came to the UK in 1993 as a business visitor and was naturalised in 2005, was described as a ‘fixer’ who signed off false ID documents confirming the individuals had the right to work in the UK when they did not, jurors were told.

In a number of cases, it was claimed, he employed the same person under two different identities.

Their wages were paid in whole or in part into bank accounts controlled by others, including Chune and his relatives, it was claimed.

A number of those employed allegedly lived in properties that he owned. He knew others socially outside of work. One man, whose false Spanish passport Chune had allegedly certified as genuine in 2011, could be seen at family events in photographs found on Chune’s mobile, jurors heard.

Witney Gazette: Momodou Chune outside Oxford Crown Court Picture: Oxford Mail

Of the six in the dock, four, are accused of involvement in laundering money by having wages paid into bank accounts in their name. Among them are Sabbeh Jeng, 48, described as Chune’s wife, and through whose two Halifax accounts passed several thousand pounds.

Another co-defendant, Ghanaian national Isaac Nimo, 41, was said to have had the wages of two employees paid into his bank accounts. Both had been employed by Chune, jurors were told.

Nimo was said to have come under the spotlight after employers ECS received an anonymous letter claiming he was defrauding the company through ‘fake’ employees.

Ms Schutzer-Weissmann claimed that, while all the defendants were interviewed by the authorities, nothing they said ‘provided a clear or a complete or indeed an innocent explanation’.

She said: “The prosecution case is that Mr Chune was a man who wanted money.

“For financial gain he used his power and influence as an area manager and area supervisor [providing] cleaners to Sainsbury’s stores.

“Those who needed work – and were not allowed to work – found out about that or were helped by him. For that, he received a fee.”

On Friday, jurors heard from one of the illegal workers Chune allegedly placed in ECS. The man told jurors of an arrangement where he was paid for six hours’ work, but only did three hours’ work and paid the balance to Chune.

He maintained that after ECS called him in for a disciplinary interview, Chune had instructed him to quit instead – although he did not do so. He denied the defendant’s contention that he had made up his account in order to get a promotion at the cleaning firm.

Chune, of Berry Close, Oxford, denies eight counts of assisting unlawful immigration to a member state, concealing criminal property and acquiring criminal property.

Isaac Nimo, of Mallards Way, Bicester, denies fraud.

Ebrima Jabang, 49, of Berry Leys, Luton, Helen Tankoh, 53, of Leyside Court, Northampton, and Sabbeh Jeng, 48, of Berry Close, Oxford, deny concealing criminal property. Tumbulu Colley, 41, of Walker Drive, Faringdon, has pleaded not guilty to possession of an identity document with improper intention.

The trial continues.