Glasgow & West Scotland

Benefit cheat who did not like to travel took 839 flights over nine years

Sahin Lim Image copyright Iain McLellan/Spindrift Photo Agency
Image caption Sahin Lim (right) took 839 flights over nine years

A man who told the authorities who paid his £40,000 benefits he did not like to travel took 839 flights over nine years.

Sahin Lim, 61, had five undeclared bank accounts that more than £420,000 went in and out of.

A court heard flights were paid for him to countries including Australia, America and Thailand.

Lim, from Partick, admitted a number of benefits offences when he appeared before Glasgow Sheriff Court.

Between 1 April 2005 and 9 May 2014 he received £16,491 income support, employment support allowance and jobseekers' allowance.

And, between 25 April 2005 and 21 April 2015 he received a total of £23,508 for housing and council tax benefit, all without declaring a change of circumstances.

Modest savings

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard Lim, who is originally from Turkey, has been receiving some means tested benefits since April 2002 and others since 2010.

When applying for them he claimed he had savings of around £200 between two bank accounts.

Despite completing 45 forms and being spoken to on the phone on four occasions Lim said he had no savings, no other money in any other bank accounts and no other income.

Procurator fiscal depute Richard Hill said: "During this period, Lim completed several medical assessment forms in relation to his employment support allowance claim.

"Within the forms the accused stated he would only go outdoors if he had an appointment, that he did not like going outdoors alone, spends the majority of his time in his house and does not like travelling."

Travelling extensively

In June 2012 the Department of Work and Pensions received information that Lim had large sums of cash and was travelling abroad extensively, while claiming benefits.

Mr Hill added: "Investigations were carried out and it was established he had five undeclared bank accounts.

"It was established that during the period of the libel £426,625 entered these accounts and £423,436 left the accounts."

The court heard that the accounts received substantial payments of up to £14,900 but funds were either withdrawn or transferred within days.

Lim took 839 international flights during the period between April 2005 and May 2014.

He paid for a substantial number of flights but many were not in his name and he was not the named passenger.

Rewarded with flights

Defence lawyer Ryan Sloan said: "Mr Lim is a prominent member of the Turkish community in Glasgow.

"His position is that over the period of the charges he was repeatedly entrusted by other parties to carry out financial transactions on their behalf.

"The only benefit he would receive would be in the purchase of his flights.

"He accepted that all of this money has been going through these accounts."

Sheriff Joseph Platt deferred sentence for reports and remanded Lim in custody.

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