Trio sentenced for spouse visa sham

27 Jan 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A trio of people have been sentenced for taking part in a spouse visa sham operation in the UK.

A 27-year-old Czech woman, Martina Demeterova, has been sentenced to 15 months for assisting unlawful immigration and perjury.

The man who she married, Saheed Adelaja Bello, a 35-year-old man from Nigeria, received 21 months sentencing for immigration fraud and perjury.

The pair were wed at St Andrews Church in Accrington back in February 2009, where the mother of the bride acted as a witness to the ceremony.

However, the UK Border Agency conducted an investigation into the affair and discovered that it was a sham organised so that the Nigerian man could gain access to a spouse visa.

Sham marriages tend to include a non-European national and somebody from within the European Economic Area in order to gain long-term residency and the right to work and claim benefits.

The mother of the bride, 47-year-old Kveta Demeterova, was given a suspended sentence of 12 months for her roll in assisting unlawful immigration and perjury.

Dave Magrath, head of the UKBA immigration crime team in the North West, commented: "These sentences send out a clear message to anyone thinking of taking part in this kind of criminal activity.

"We have specialist teams of immigration officers and police working to investigate cases just like this to ensure people are not able to benefit from breaking the UK's immigration laws.

"Whether you take part in the marriage or arrange for others to stage fake weddings we are determined to track down those involved and bring them to justice."

All three of the people concerned pleaded guilty to charges.