A sham wedding designed to falsely obtain a UK spouse visa has been busted by UK immigration officials in Banbridge.
The bride and groom were arrested last week (Thursday, July 14th) on suspicion of staging a wedding ceremony. A further three defendants have also appeared in court.
Newry Magistrates Court in the area has seen a number of UK immigration cases over the past few weeks. Two Latvians and two Pakistani nationals appeared their on July 15th charged with offences relating to evasion of UK immigration laws, while another individual took the stand for similar crimes on July 18th.
The flurry of court appearances comes amid a nationwide plan by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) to tackle sham marriages, illegal employment of foreign workers and bogus student visa applications. Earl Aitken, senior criminal investigator for the agency, commented: "The UKBA is working closely with registrars to identify marriages that may not be genuine, and where we suspect that may be the case we will investigate.
"We have specialist teams of immigration officers and police working together to investigate cases just like this and ensuring people are not able to benefit from breaking the UK's immigration laws."