Pair charged with UK spouse visa crimes

24 Aug 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Two people have been charged on suspicion of crimes related to UK spouse visa acquisition.

A Polish woman and a Pakistani man were arrested by officers from the UK Border Agency's (UKBA) crime team at an address in Carryduff Co Down in anticipation of their planned marriage in Newtownards.

The would-be bride and group were arrested for UK immigration offences and taken to Bangor police station where they have been interviewed and charged.

Following further investigation, the 31-year-old Pakistani, Imran Javed, was charged with seeking leave to remain in the UK by deception and obtaining leave to remain in the UK by deception for earlier falsely claiming to have been studying in Britain.

Meanwhile, the 18-year-old Polish woman was charged with assisting unlawful immigration. She has been released on bail to appear at a later date while the Pakistani man was remanded in custody.

Earl Aiken, senior criminal investigator, UK Border Agency said: "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."

The incident follows three arrests of individuals at a marriage ceremony in Belfast City Hall at which it was discovered the wedding was a sham and had been organised in an attempt to obtain a UK visa by deception