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Sham marriage gang compiled crib sheets to remind bogus brides, grooms their partners’ names

What all will the members of sham marriage gang do to make the weddings successful!

It may come as a surprise to you, but a sham marriage gang actually compiled crib sheets to remind bogus brides and grooms of their partners' names. Well, they have been jailed.

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Leeds Crown Court heard how searches uncovered a range of evidence suggesting sham marriages, including crib sheets and question and answer documents for the fake couples.

The Home Office said the gang of five Pakistani men used Slovak brides to systematically abused the marriage system in an attempt to dodge UK immigration rules.

The scam was uncovered on 28 March this year when officers from the UK Border Agency interrupted a suspected sham marriage at Leeds Register Office.

Officers arrested the bride and groom at the fake wedding 'ceremony' of Pakistani Muhammad Usman and Slovak Maria Racova.

Five others present – Pakistanis Farrukh Khan, Muhammad Mughal and Syed Gardezi and Slovaks Eva Facunova and Lukas Murgos, were all arrested, on suspicion of facilitating a breach of immigration law.

As officers carried out their investigation, it emerged that Khan and Mughal were both also seeking leave to remain in the UK as a result of marriages to Slovak women in 2010. These women, sisters Zlatica Holubova and Ivana Holubova, were both subsequently arrested on suspicion of the same offence.

Gardezi was also found to be making arrangements to marry another Slovak woman.

The investigation focused on addresses across Bradford and Leeds.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said: 'This gang has systematically abused the immigration system and has shown a complete disregard for the sanctity of marriage.

'The UK Border Agency is taking strong action to crack down on sham marriages nationwide. Our message could not be clearer – we will not tolerate immigration abuse and we will take decisive action against those involved.

'Immigration crime is not victimless. The gangs involved in this activity often have links to serious organised crime and it places huge pressure on the public purse at a time when the country can least afford it.'

Khan, who the judge said had devised the scheme, was jailed for two years and three months; Murgos, who the judge said had recruited the girls, was jailed for two years and six months; Usman and Mughal were both jailed for 18 months; Gardezi was jailed for 21 months; Racova and Ivana Holubova were sentenced to a nine month jail term suspended for 12 months with 150 hours community service; Facunova 51 weeks suspended for two years and 200 hours; and Zlatica Holubova was given a 12 month conditional discharge

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