- Mohamed Qoomaal was jailed for 15 months after having payments sent to him
- The pensioner wanted to live in a warmer climate and moved back to Somalia
- It has now emerged that he is a singer who is known as the ‘Somalian Phil Collins’
A refugee who received almost £40,000 in benefits after returning to Africa to live in a warmer climate is a music star known as the ‘Somalian Phil Collins’, it emerged last night.
Mohamed Qoomaal, 72, had pension credit payments sent to him for more than two years while a mystery person enjoyed rent-free living in his council-funded home in Harrow, north west London.
But it has now emerged that he has played two shows and Wembley and enjoyed a 30-year showbiz career.
It comes after he attempted to forge an immigration stamp on his British passport in a failed bid to trick investigators into believing he had been living in the UK.
It has now been revealed that Mohamed Qoomaal, 72, is a successful singer who is known as the Somalian Phil Collins
Mohamed Qoomaal, 72, (pictured centre) had pension credit payments sent to him for two-and-a-half years
Qoomaal had pension credit payments sent to him for more than two years and a mystery person enjoyed rent-free living in his council-funded home.
He was jailed for 15 months after he admitted two counts of dishonestly failing to notify a change of circumstances regarding Pension Credit and Housing Benefit between 2013 and 2016.
And a source told The Sun that the singer performed to fans at Wembley in 2012 and six years earlier in 2006.
They said: ‘This guy is huge in Africa. No one can believe the news about his imprisonment.’
Qoomaal, who lived in Harrow (pictured), continued to receive benefits for almost three years
Despite arriving in the this country fifteen years ago, Qoomaal also needed a taxpayer-funded interpreter during eight court hearings
Qoomaal even forged an immigration stamp on his British passport in a failed attempt to trick investigators into accepting he had been residing in the UK.
He received the benefits and it would have taken him 17 years to repay the huge £38,869.97 total.
Isleworth Crown Court heard he failed to mention he was living abroad in Somalia.
The court heard Qoomaal wanted to live in a warmer climate for health benefits and only returned to the UK when he heard he was wanted for questioning.
Lisa Matthews, prosecuting, said: ‘He left the UK on an open ticket and did not return. He gave the keys to his privately-rented flat to a third party, who lived there while he was abroad.’
The judge told Qoomaal: ‘You came to this country as a refugee and enjoyed the benefits of this country as a British citizen, which you became.
‘With that comes certain responsibilities and certain consequences for someone who breaks the law as you have done.’