UK spouse visa orchestrator 'on the run'

19 Mar 2012 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A woman who has admitted to organising sham weddings for UK visas is on the run after failing to appear in court for sentencing.

The 30-year-old woman from Bradford, West Yorkshire, was given a jail sentence of three years and eight months in her absence at Burnley Crown Court for recruiting women to marry illegal immigrants.

Andzelina Surmaj, the convicted woman, is a mother of four and originally from Poland. She was convicted of assisting unlawful immigration by organising several weddings between women she recruited at school gates and illegal immigrants looking to obtain a UK spouse visa.

The immigrants paid thousands of pounds for the organisation of the weddings, while the women tended to be other Eastern Europeans desperate for finances for themselves and their families.

In addition to organising the weddings, Ms Surmaj was convicted of giving a false address at a sham wedding at which she was the bride, as well as possessing a false Czech Republic ID card.

Czech national Milan Cina, 38, was also involved in the UK spouse visa sham. He admitted assisting unlawful immigration by collaborating with Ms Surmaj to organise the weddings and also admitted to acting as a witness at another ceremony he knew to be false.