Polish couple jailed for UK spouse visa scams

17 Nov 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Two people have been jailed for a UK spouse visa scam after they were both found to have taken part in sham marriages.

The Polish couple, 40-year-old Jozef Badzo and 54-year-old Maria Pretczynska, were discovered to have married Nigerian individuals to help them gain UK spouse visas.

Mr Badzo married Mercy Idehnen, a 44-year-old Nigerian, on May 6th 2009 in Lancashire. The marriage was found to be a sham to assist in unlawful UK immigration and Mr Badzo has now been sentenced to 16 months for this crime and a further 12 months for perjury.

Ms Pretczynska, meanwhile, was confirmed to have entered into a sham marriage with 43-year-old Nigerian Lukman Durojaye on December 15th 2008 in Levenshulme. She also acted as a witness to Mr Badzo's wedding to Ms Idehen. For these crimes she was sentenced to 16 months in jail after pleading guilty to assisting unlawful immigration.

Dave Magrath, head of the UK Border Agency immigration crime team for the north west, said he hoped the sentences will “send out a clear message to anyone thinking of taking part in this kind of criminal activity”.

He added: “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.”