UK spouse visa sham 'busted'

22 Jun 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A UK spouse visa sham has been busted by immigration officials in West Yorkshire.

The bride and groom were arrested along with three of the guests in attendance at the ceremony in Leeds Town Hall.

Supported by West Yorkshire police and other forces, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) crime team arrested the group just as the civil ceremony was about to begin.

The 42-year-old bride is a Czech national from Wakefield, while her groom is a 33-year-old failed asylum seeker from Afghanistan, the Oxford Mail reported.

Andy Radcliffe, who heads up the UKBA's immigration crime team, told the newspaper: "Today's arrests are the latest in a series of similar operations carried out by the UK Border Agency Immigration Crime Team in recent months.

"The message is simple - we are working constantly to stop those who attempt to cheat immigration law and we will not hesitate to take the strongest possible action against those involved."

The news comes as a Nigerian national has been told that he is facing jail for his part in organising a sham marriage.

Abiola Abdulkareem had attempted to help 36-year-old Nigerian Idowu James Ojomu obtain a UK spouse visa by arranging a sham marriage to French national Maria Deroff.

The incident occurred at an Oxfordshire registrar office on May 14th but the Oxford Crown Court decided this week that the Abdulkareem will face a custodial sentence for his part in the crime. Sentencing will take place on July 20th.