Groom jailed for spouse visa sham

31 Mar 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The groom involved in a sham marriage has been sentenced to 21 months in jail for staging the wedding in order to gain access to a spouse visa.

Nigerian national Francis Oyenuga, 43, was sentenced on Friday March 25th at Burnley Crown Court for his UK immigration crimes.

He had claimed to be living in Monk Street, Accrington when he wed a bogus Czech bride at St Andrew's Church last year.

However, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) conducted investigations which revealed that the marriage was purely designed to enable Oyenuga to obtain a spouse visa. Consequently, he was charged with seeking leave to remain in the UK by deception and perjury.

His bride, meanwhile, the 29-year-old Helena Kancova, was sentenced to 14 months for perjury and assisting unlawful UK immigration.

Dave Magrath, head of the UKBA immigration crime team in the north-west, said that the sentencing sends out "a strong message to those thinking of undertaking sham marriages in order to gain entry to the UK or seeking to make a profit from helping others to do so".

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."

Earlier this month, a husband and wife from East London were arrested for their suspected part in organising sham weddings.