Spouse visa sham sees Dutch lesbian jailed

05 May 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A woman from the Netherlands has been jailed for her role in a spouse visa scam.

Roqsilmar Marti, a lesbian from the Netherlands, has been jailed for 18 months for attempting to marry a Nigerian man at a church in Essex last year.

The wedding had been orchestrated to acquire a spouse visa for the Nigerian but an investigation by   UK immigration officials resulted in a sensational arrest at the altar.

The groom, Nigerian Abraham Akinola, was jailed for three years after both parties pleaded guilty to the trial at Basildon Crown Court.

Abdallah Magezi, a 36-year-old Ugandan national resident in Plumstead, London, was found guilty of organising the sham marriage and jailed for three years.

Speaking to the 'couple', Judge John Lodge said: "You were not involved in this to the same degree, or level, as Magezi who got three years in prison, but both of you were involved over a period of time and in some detail in arranging a sham marriage.

"Akinola, you wanted to gain from it by staying in this country and Marti, in your case, it was for financial gain."

The UK immigration authorities were made aware of the situation when Father Codling informed them of his suspicions.

He claimed that people are targeting his church due to the fact that the neighbourhood has a growing ethnic diversity as well as good train links with London.

In fact, he has reported more than 60 such cases of people attempting to go through with sham marriages in order to gain spouse visas or to benefit financially.

Father Codling recalled how his suspicions were confirmed during the ceremony: "I was asking the bride to repeat the vows and I just knew something wasn't right.

"So I started calling out the names of stations on the c2c line - Pitsea, Benfleet and Leigh-on-Sea, and the bride started saying them back to me.

"She clearly couldn't understand anything I was saying - I don't think she even knew why she was in the church."