UK immigration authorities have arrested three individuals on suspicion of committing crimes relating to the acquisition of UK spouse visas.
The UK Border Agency (UKBA) officers received intelligence regarding a wedding between a Slovakian woman and a Pakistan national. Following the information, they interrupted the marriage ceremony at Belfast City Hall.
Kasif Ali, a 22-year-old Pakistan national, was playing the part of a groom in the wedding. He has an address in Glasgow but was found to be in possession of a UK student visa for a college in London, which it is alleged he failed to attend.
As a result, the man now has one charge of obtaining leave to remain by deception for the student visa and a further charge of seeking to obtain leave to remain by deception for his attempt to obtain a UK spouse visa.
Meanwhile, the bride was 22-year-old Veronkia Dzurikovk, who lives in Athlone Country Westmeath. She has been charged with assisting unlawful immigration, as has 39-year-old Asif Nasair, from Glasgow, who was also involved in the case.
Earl Aiken, senior criminal investigator for the UKBA, commented: “These arrests are the result of intensive investigations into suspected sham marriages across the whole of Northern Ireland by our team of specialist immigration officers.
“They reflect how seriously the UK Border Agency takes abuse of the immigration laws.”