A Pakistani man has been arrested jailed for his role in a UK spouse visa sham, it has been revealed.
The 24-year-old Haroon Nawab pleaded guilty to attempting to break UK immigration rules and assisting unlawful immigration. He has been jailed for nine months and fined £1,500 for his crimes.
The UK spouse visa sham Mr Nawab was involved in saw him act as a witness during a bogus wedding. He was originally arrested back in July 2011 for the crime at specialist immigration officers who uncovered the bogus marriage ceremony at Banbridge register office.
Earl Aiken, senior criminal investigator for the agency, commented on the sentencing: "This case shows how people are prepared to enter into a marriage with someone they barely know to help them cheat the immigration system in exchange for cash."
He added that the crime is not victimless and warned that the gangs involved in organising sham marriages often have links to serious organised crime. To combat the situation, the UK Border Agency and other officials will "continue to make life as tough as possible for those who seek to abuse the [immigration] system".
The news follows three arrests at a registration office in Gretna made at the end of February. The individuals are suspected of organising sham marriages for the purposes of obtaining UK visas.