UKBA on a hunt for organisers of sham marriages

Those entering into sham marriages can be behinds bars for over a year

21 June 2010:
The UK Border Agency is on a hunt for the organisers of sham marriages. Its immigration crime teams are already creating a hostile environment for the immigration laws breakers.

And you are in for big trouble, if you have entered into a sham marriage. In fact, you can find yourself behinds bars for over a year, evident from the sentence handed over to a Nigerian man. He has been jailed for 14 months after admitting he entered into a sham marriage in a bid to undermine the UK’s immigration laws.

Giving details of the drive to check sham marriages, the UKBA assistant director Sam Bullimore has stated: Our prime aim is to seek to identify those who are often the organisers of such marriages, and destroy their criminal business.

The assertion comes soon after the arrest of a serving vicar in the crackdown on sham marriages. The vicar was arrested in an 18-month inquiry into nearly 180 "sham marriages" at East Sussex church.

Bullimore has added: ‘The sentence handed down shows how seriously we, and the courts, take these kinds of attempts to undermine our immigration laws.

‘We will not tolerate immigration abuse and, as this conviction demonstrates, our immigration crime teams are creating a hostile environment for those who break the immigration laws.

We know that sham marriages are not just about getting a ticket to the UK; often the offenders are also involved in other forms of criminality. If we uncover marriages that are not genuine, we will challenge them and prosecute where appropriate.’

The UKBA has also asserted: Any foreign criminal sentenced to more than 12 months in prison for any offence is automatically considered for deportation.

Giving details of the case involving the Nigerian man, the UKBA said: Henry Ohachu, 28, pleaded guilty today at Chelmsford Crown Court to a charge of facilitating a breach of immigration controls.

Ohachu, who had overstayed his visa, was arrested by officers from the UK Border Agency’s immigration crime team east on 5 May at his home address in Thornbeach Road, Lewisham, London.

Earlier that day Ohachu had married a Dutch woman in St Andrew’s Church in Catford. In the police interview he admitted that he had paid £2,000 to a third party to arrange the marriage, hoping that it would help his application to remain in the UK.

Ohachu said that he had paid for the woman to fly into Stansted Airport on at least four occasions so that arrangements for the wedding could be made.

Any information you want on marriages can be had from the Foreigners in UK website. You can log on to

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