UK spouse visa sham results in arrests

18 Mar 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A sham marriage designed to help the groom gain a spouse visa has resulted in a number of arrests.

Officers from the UK Border Agency have concluded an investigation into a wedding party that was discovered in Sheffield city centre in September 2010.

Sajid Ali from Pakistan was to be married to Renata Toracova from Slovakia. The wedding was to take place to allow the groom to gain a spouse visa or long-term residency within the European Economic Area.

But the newly-weds and their cohorts were apprehended in the midst of the UK spouse visa scam, which saw them implement crude plans including the purchase of cheap wedding rings and an interpreter to "help them profess their love".

The couple, along with three interpreters, were found guilty of conspiracy to breach immigration law.

Earlier this week (March 16th), an international spouse visa conspiracy centring on Nottingham and the Netherlands saw four people arrested in Rotterdam and the Hague.

The two men and two women have been held, along with their mobile phones, documents, clothing and perfumes.

A total of eight arrests has been made earlier in the month regarding the Uk side of the operation, as the UKBA immigration team worked to uncover suspected organisers and bogus brides and grooms.

Sam Bullimore of the immigration team at the UKBA, commented: "Our colleagues in the Netherlands have arrested several suspects who we believe are part of an organised crime group and who attempted to breach immigration law and assisted others to do so.

"We are committed to targeting criminal groups who profit from organising sham marriages and anyone trying to benefit illegally from the privileges of life in the UK faces prison and deportation."