Johnny Okeoma, a Director of Tripleway Ltd, pleaded guilty at Barkingside Magistrates Court on 19 March 2015 to providing two unlicensed security operatives.
As a result of intelligence received, the SIA began making enquiries regarding the supply of unlicensed security operatives to Nicholson Court flats in London by two companies connected to Mr Okeoma.
In 2012, the contract for the provision of security industry services to Nicholson Court was taken over by Tripleway Ltd from Finetop Services Ltd. The registered Director of Finetop was Pascal Okeoma whose husband is Johnny Okeoma, Finetop’s Company Secretary.
From February 2012 to October 2013 Tripleway supplied two unlicensed security operatives to Nicholson Court – Nathanial Quaye and Kojo Botwe.
Despite the dissolution of both companies by May 2014, the SIA was able to proceed against the individual directors.
Mrs Okeoma stated that she had no involvement regarding Finetop and that her husband had been a Shadow Director. Mr Okeoma was interviewed by SIA investigators in January 2015 and provided a pre-prepared statement which said that Nathanial Quaye had assured him that he had a valid SIA licence and that the man known as Kojo Botwe was known to him as David Arthur, and had been supplied by an agency. David Arthur was not on the SIA’s register of licence holders as having an active licence, and there was no evidence to show the agency ever existed.
Nathan Salmon, Investigations Manager said:
“The SIA continually monitors intelligence received regarding non-compliance with the Private Security Industry Act 2001. In this case, it was discovered that in running his business of nine years, Mr Okeoma demonstrated knowledge of the regulatory regime and was negligent regarding his obligation to ensure his staff held SIA licences and hence had been trained and vetted.
“The regulations are in place to protect the public. Mr Okeoma supplied unlicensed security guards to residential housing for potentially vulnerable people, including the elderly and single parent families. Illegal and conceivably dangerous negligence such as this is unacceptable and I welcome this conviction, achieved despite the dissolution of both companies by Mr Okeoma.”
The District Judge adjourned sentencing pending a probation report to be heard on 9 April at Barkingside Magistrates Court.
- The Security Industry Authority is the organisation responsible for regulating the private security industry in the United Kingdom, reporting to the Home Secretary under the terms of the Private Security Industry Act 2001. The SIA's main duties are: the compulsory licensing of individuals undertaking designated activities; and managing the voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme.
- For further information about the Security Industry Authority or to sign up for email updates visit www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk. The SIA is also on Facebook (Security Industry Authority) and Twitter (SIAuk).