A scam involving access to UK spouse visas has resulted in three individuals being arrested.
A trial held at Manchester Crown Court last week (November 9th) saw all three defendants jailed after they pleaded guilty to assisting unlawful immigration on October 12th last year.
The crime centred around Kazeem Adeeyo and Jadesola Gabriel. The former, a 44-year-old Nigerian, admitted marrying Argeniese Vrutall in 2009 in Salford in a bid to obtain a UK spouse visa, while 32-year-old Ms Gabriel, also from Nigera, admitted entering into a sham marriage with Akos Szirbury, a 35-year-old Hungarian, in 2008.
Adeeyo and Szirbury were later found to be in a genuine relationship with each other and their respective marriages were proved to be shams designed to help them stay in the UK. They lived together in Manchester with their two children.
Adeeyo and Szirbury were sentenced to 11 months imprisonment and Gabriel was hit with six months behind bars.
Dave Magrath, head of the UK Border Agency (UKBA) crime team in the north west, commented: “All three showed a complete disregard for our immigration laws and today have paid the price for trying to cheat the system.
“The UKBA is taking strong action to crack down on sham marriages nationwide. Our message could not be clearer - we will not tolerate immigration abuse and offenders will be caught and face justice.”
Sham marriages such as these are most likely to occur between a non-European national and another individual from within the European Economic Area. The latter tends to receive payment, while the former hopes that they will gain a UK spouse visa through the arrangement. However, UK immigration law requires that a marriage be based on a legitimate relationship in order for it to be valid, making these cases illegal.