UKBA uncovered a note detailing in full the ‘price list’ for sham marriage
3rd February 2011: £10,695 — that’s the approximate amount people may have been dishing out for tying the knot with trouble by going in for a sham marriage.
The UK Border Agency has uncovered a note detailing in full the ‘price list’ for a sham marriage, totaling £10,695.
The UKBA has asserted the list as translated included “£4,500 girl, £1,900 P60, £2,100 Home Office (suspected administrative payments), £600 wedding permission, £200 wedding hall expenses and £250- wedding photos outside garage”.
The details come at a time when the UKBA has tightened the screws around the abuse of the immigration system by way of fake marriages.
The UKBA is, in fact, working closely with registrars to identify marriages that may not be genuine, and where they suspect that may be the case they investigate. The agency takes action against anyone found to have entered into a sham marriage in an attempt to break the rules.
The details of the list were provided after a sham marriage gang, arrested shortly after staging a bogus wedding ceremony in Sheffield, was jailed for five years for attempting to subvert immigration rules.
The UKBA said: `The case at Sheffield Crown Court is part of a much wider operation – Operation Relinquish – being led by the UK Border Agency’s specialist Yorkshire Immigration Crime Team targeting those suspected of orchestrating and taking part in sham marriages.
`The five defendants in court were part of a series of 27 arrests across the summer of brides, grooms and their wedding party for trying to gain UK citizenship through deception.
`The operation targeted the sham marriage fixers who were behind the immigration scam. They were arrested on 26 July 2010 shortly after a wedding ceremony took place at Sheffield Town Hall, alongside the newly-wed couple, a 33-year-old Pakistani man, Subhani Ahmed and his 35-year-old Slovak bride.
`The couple, who relied on an interpreter at their wedding to exchange vows and understand the Registrar, was unaware of the presence of officers from the UK Border Agency’s Immigration Crime Team.
`The specialist team captured the newlyweds and the wedding fixers on CCTV as they arrived and left the town hall. Footage showed the couple leaving and then meeting with the gang leader, a Pakistani male called Sajid Mehmood, 36, and two of his gang, Milan Benak, 39, and Gizar Demeter, 36, both Slovak nationals.
`Before the gang ferried the couple away in their people carrier, officers observed Mehmood handing over an amount of money to a third man who had accompanied the couple to their wedding ceremony.
`Officers then followed the wedding party as it left the Town Hall and arrested the wedding party as they pulled up at a garage outside Meadowhall shopping centre. During the search of the vehicle, officers uncovered a note detailing in full the ‘price list’ for the sham marriage, totalling £10,695.’
The UKBA added: `As part of the investigation, officers from the UK Border Agency’s Immigration Crime Team were able to identify a second couple linked to the gang. Officers arrested the bride, Kornelie Ferkova, 26, but her Pakistani husband had absconded.