Gang targeted for UK spouse visa scams

18 Oct 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A crime gang has been targeted by immigration officials on suspicion of having arranged sham marriages for UK spouse visas.

UK immigration officers worked with the police to conduct raids in the Romford and Dagenham areas this week (October 18th). They targeted a group suspected of having set up sham marriages between Nigerian and Dutch nationals.

Sham weddings are often arranged in return for money and tend to take place between an EU national and somebody from outside of the economic area who is seeking a way in.

In this case, a 42-year-old man was arrested in Romford on suspicion of conspiring to assist unlawful immigration and seeking leave to remain by deception. A woman, aged 32, was also arrested on suspicion of conspiring to assist unlawful immigration.

Meanwhile, a further two people were arrested on the same charge in the Dagenham area. All four of those brought in are Nigerian nationals. The group will remain in custody for questioning by UK Border Agency investigators.

Doug Rushworth, senior investigating officer, said: “Today's operation is the result of an international investigation involving British and Dutch law enforcement agencies.

“Four people are now in custody, and our enquiries will continue. We're committed to tackling sham marriages and we aim to identify the organisers who profit from them and destroy their criminal business.”