A suspected sham marriage, thought to have taken place to obtain a UK spouse visa, has resulted in an arrest.
After receiving information regarding a marriage due to take place at Kendal register office, UK Border Agency (UKBA) officers intervened and arrested an immigration offender from Nigeria moments before the marriage took place.
The man concerned was a 34-year-old who had been due to marry a 24-year-old British woman. The 'bride' was questioned but later released, while the groom was arrested for overstaying his UK visa and remaining in the country illegally.
Alison Wray, head of enforcement in the region for UKBA, commented: "We're working closely with registrars to clamp down on sham weddings and civil partnerships.
"Where there are suspicions that a relationship may not be genuine we will investigate and, if necessary, intervene to stop it happening."
The news comes while other genuine partners are seeking spouse visas to keep their families together. A family in Bury St Edmunds has been separated for more than three months due delays with visa processing.
Chad Carlson, an American USAF veteran, was forced to leave his wife and children in Dalham and return to the US after his UK spouse visa application to the UKBA in February was not processed in time.
Beverley Carlson told news source EADT 24 of the distress the dispute has caused: "Living out of suitcases and with all our worldly goods in transit to the US, including all of the children’s Christmas presents, we are beyond disbelief that this cruel twist has occurred."
She added that she has been unable to travel to the UK herself because her visa application is already in the system, meaning that her application to visit would be refused.