5 Pakistanis jailed for running 'sham' marriage gang in UK
A fake marriage gang, which involved five Pakistani men and several Slovak women, has been jailed for manipulating marriage system to flout UK immigration laws.world Updated: Dec 26, 2011 09:33 IST
A fake marriage gang, which involved five Pakistani men and several Slovak women, has been jailed for manipulating marriage system to flout UK immigration laws.
The gang used 'crib' sheets to help one another remember their fake names and details of their 'marriages'.
The gang was convicted on December 22 after the initial scam was uncovered on March 28, when the UK Border Agency had stopped a bogus marriage at Leeds Register Office in the Town Hall.
Immigration minister Damian Green said: "This gang has systematically abused the immigration system and has shown a complete disregard for the sanctity of marriage.
"Our message could not be clearer - we will not tolerate immigration abuse and we will take decisive action against those involved."
Green said that gangs involved in this activity often had links to serious organised crime.
Immigration officers had 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 Britain as a result of marriages to Slovak women in 2010.
Two sisters Zlatica Holubova and Ivana Holubova, were also arrested on suspicion of the same offence.
Gardezi was also found to be making arrangements to marry another Slovak woman.
The investigation uncovered a range of evidence suggesting sham marriages, including 'crib' sheets and question and answer documents for the fake couples.