A man who was due to get married has been arrested on suspicion of UK immigration crimes ahead of his planned wedding.
The 31-year-old Egyptian man was arrested by UK Border Agency (UKBA) officers at the Cambridge register office on Castle Street.
Intelligence informed the officers that an Egyptian immigration offender was due to get married and officers were quick to stop the ceremony from going ahead. The man was taken into immigration detention, where he is being held ahead of his removal from the country.
The bride-to-be in the ceremony, a Polish national, was also taken for questioning by the UKBA but no further action was taken against her.
Andy Morfill, from the UKBA, warned others that they would be caught if they attempted to get around the immigration laws this way: “We carry out operations every week across Cambridgeshire and will arrest offenders at businesses, home addresses and even when they are attempting to get married as this case shows. When we receive information about people who are in the country illegally we act on it.”
He added: “We are sending a simple, clear message to anyone attempting to undermine the UK's immigration laws - we will investigate you and catch you.”
It appears that the Egyptian man in this case had overstayed his UK visa and decided to just take a chance on extending his leave to remain through illegal means. But there are other cases in which organised crime groups arrange fake weddings between people in return for money, as demonstrated by the news just last month of a gang of 18 individuals who were jailed for such crimes.
The group, who were based around South Yorkshire with ties to Pakistan, were jailed for more than 27 years for their role in organising marriages between Pakistanis and European nationals.