Obama's half-brother refused UK visa: reports

LONDON Sun Apr 12, 2009 3:09pm EDT

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LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama's half-brother has been denied a visa to come back to Britain after he earlier gave a false name to police when accused of an attempted sexual assault, British media reported on Sunday.

A database showed that British police arrested Samson Obama, who lives in Kenya, last November after he allegedly tried to sexually assault a young girl, the News of the World said.

Obama gave officers a false identity at the time of his arrest, claiming to be Henry Aloo, the report said. He was fingerprinted but not charged and left Britain.

He tried to enter Britain again to visit relatives while on his way to President Obama's inauguration in January but immigration officials barred him, the News of the World said.

His details were stored on a new government database of fingerprints and biometric details and this turned up a match when immigration officials checked it in January. The White House was informed, according to the British newspaper.

President Obama was born in Hawaii to a white American mother and a Kenyan father. He has relatives living in Kenya.

The White House had no comment on the reports. However, a White House official said the president had not spoken with Samson in 20 years.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Samson was granted a visa by the U.S. consulate in Nairobi to attend the inauguration. The president, however, did not see him while he was in Washington.

The News of the World said Samson Obama, who manages a mobile phone shop near Nairobi, was believed to have taken a connecting flight to the United States in January.

The Sunday Mirror newspaper gave a slightly different account of the story, saying Samson Obama had been allowed to stop over in Britain while on his way to and from the inauguration and was only later refused a British visa.

A Home Office spokeswoman said the ministry did not comment on specific immigration cases.

The UK Border Agency, responsible for immigration issues, said: "We will oppose the entry of individuals to the UK where we believe their presence is not conducive to the public good."

"The UK's border controls are among the toughest in the world. All visa applicants are fingerprinted and checked against watchlists. Using this hi-tech system we have detected more than 5,600 attempts to use false identities since December 2007," it said in a statement.

(Reporting by Adrian Croft in London and Ross Colvin in Washington; Editing by Jonathan Wright)

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