A SLOVAK citizen was arrested in Leeds, UK, after police raided a wedding service at the town hall as part of a crackdown on sham marriages. They detained the 23-year-old Pakistani groom and the 22-year-old Slovak bride on March 29, the Daily Mail reported on its website.
The ‘newlyweds’ were among seven members of a wedding party detained by the police, including officers from the UK Border Agency (UKBA). Both individuals were detained on suspicion of conspiracy to assist unlawful entry into the UK. Three other Pakistani men and two other Slovak women were detained for questioning, the UKBA stated, as reported by the Daily Mail.
“We suspect that the sole purpose of this marriage would have been for the groom to avoid immigration controls and stay in the UK,” acting Detective Inspector Pete Gallagher of the UKBA immigration crime team said, as quoted by the Daily Mail.
The UK Border Agency is cracking down on sham marriages all over the country and aims to identify the organisers who profit from these illegal activities and destroy their criminal operations, said Jeremy Oppenheim, the UKBA regional director in Leeds.
“We work closely with registrars and vicars to identify marriages that may not be genuine and we will not hesitate to take the strongest possible action against those involved in arranging sham marriages,” Oppenheim said.
4. Apr 2011 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff