UK marriage visa sham sees man jailed

05 Jun 2012 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A UK marriage visa sham, which resulted in the arrest of several people, has now seen the key player sentenced to a jail term.

In 2009, Samuel Olufemi James, a Nigerian man resident in Derby, married a Portuguese woman in what was later unveiled as a scam.

The bride and the wedding's 'fixer' have already been arrested. However, UK Border Agency (UKBA) officers have now arrested Mr James as well and sentenced him to a jail term of 22 months following a trial at Derby Crown Court.

Chris Aldridge, of the UKBA criminals and financial investigation team, commented on the case: "This man thought he could abuse the immigration rules and evade justice by taking part in a sham marriage, moving to a different area with a partner and child and adopting a new name.

"As this case shows, we will track down, detain and prosecute those fraudsters who have no right to be in the UK."

In this case, Mr James submitted an application for residence based on a UK spouse visa to the UKBA in 2010 claiming that he was married to an EU citizen. It stated that the pair lived in Coventry and appeared to be signed by himself and his bride.

However, the request was not granted and in March this year, the agency received another UK immigration application which stated that Mr James had changed his name and was living in Derby with his fiancée and his daughter.

This deliberate misleading of the authorities resulted in his arrest after he admitted that he had not seen the first 'bride' since the wedding and that the signature purporting to he hers on his application form had been formed.