News Archive - January 2012

UK spouse visa scam sees sentences handed out

25 Jan 2012 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A group of three people have received sentencing for crimes relating to a UK spouse visa scam.

The three individuals were arrested last year in August by specialist officers from the UK Border Agency(UKBA), who were assisted by the PSNI. They halted proceedings at the sham marriage ceremony in Armagh Register Office.

A 22-year-old Pakistani man was playing the part of the groom, while a 22-year-old Latvian woman was his bogus bride. The bride's sister was also arrested and has been sentenced for her part in acting as a witness during the marriage.

The Pakistani man was found to be living in the country on a student visa and has since plead guilty to seeking leave to remain in the UK by deception through the spouse visa scam. He has been sentenced to six month in jail.

Meanwhile, the bride admitted being offered £2,000 for her role in proceedings and was sentenced for three months suspended for a year after pleading guilty to assisting unlawful immigration. Her sister has received the same sentence.

Earl Aiken, senior criminal investigator for the UKBA, commented: "This case shows the desperate lengths to which people will go by entering into a marriage with someone they barely know to help them cheat the immigration system in exchange for cash."