12 people arrested in a Slovak-Pakistani forced marriage ring
8th August 2011: The UK Border Agency’s global campaign to stop illegal migration and crack down on criminal gangs involved in sham marriages has seen more than 200 people in Pakistan being stopped from travelling illegally to the UK.
Twelve people were arrested in a Slovak-Pakistani forced marriage ring; and almost 6000 forged documents submitted with UK visa applications have been identified.
With this, the UK Border Agency in Islamabad has claimed to have tackled illegal immigration, sham marriages and fraudulent visa applications scam.
The UKBA said: As part of a global campaign, the UK Border Agency in Pakistan has continued its efforts to stop illegal migration and crack down on criminal gangs involved in sham marriages.
“In Pakistan, over 200 people were stopped from travelling illegally to the UK. Twelve people were arrested in a Slovak/Pakistani forced marriage ring; and almost 6000 forged documents submitted with UK visa applications were identified”.
The UK Border Agency regional director for Pakistan Carol Doughty said: ‘We welcome genuine travellers from Pakistan and between January and March 2011 issued over 35,000 visas to Pakistani nationals.
‘But we will not tolerate immigration abuse and will punish those who break immigration laws. Our aim isn’t just to prevent illegal migration, but also identify and take out those criminals behind these immigration scams.’
Giving details, the UKBA said in February 2011, 12 people – a mixture of Pakistani and Slovak nationals – were arrested following an investigation begun by the UK Border Agency in Islamabad into a sham marriage ring.
Slovakian females would fly to Pakistan and enter into marriages with the Pakistani males. Documentation would then be provided to the males to support a visa application.
The documentation was generally forged in an attempt to make it appear that the Slovakian females lived and worked in the UK.
Between January and March 2011, the UK Border Agency worked with air carriers in Pakistan to stop 214 passengers who were intending to travel to the UK without the proper documentation from flights from Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar.
Additionally, a 40 year old man from Karachi was jailed for six years and nine months on Friday 29 July after trying to smuggle heroin through Manchester Airport.