Investigation sees three arrests for UK spouse visa crimes

19 Apr 2012 | Posted by Carl Thomas

An investigation has resulted in three people being arrested for attempting to falsely obtain UK spouse visas.

The individuals appears in court earlier this week (April 17th) charged with immigration offences after UK Border Agency officers interrupted a suspected sham wedding between a Portuguese woman and a Bangladeshi national in Larne.

Antrim Magistrates Court heard that the 26-year-old Portuguese woman was charged with three counts of assisting unlawful immigration for her role as a bride in the ceremony, while two further Portuguese nationals were also charged with assisting unlawful immigration as they were due to be witnesses at the planned wedding.

Meanwhile, the 29-year-old Bangladeshi national is facing charges of seeking to obtain leave to remain in the UK by deception for his efforts to get hold of a UK spouse visa illegally.

Earl Aiken, senior criminal investigator for the UKBA, commented on the case: "These arrests are the result of intensive investigations into suspected sham marriages by our team of specialist immigration officers and shows the lengths criminals will go to when committing their crimes."

Sham marriages tend to be arranged between EU nationals and those from elsewhere who are seeking to obtain a UK visa. However, a marriage is only genuine if there is a real relationship behind the coupling and many people are caught out at the altar when it is revealed that they know very little about their supposed spouse.