Moment police raided a sham marriage between Portuguese bride and Nigerian groom

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(m) at 16-10-2013 08:16PM (6 years ago)

(30 | Newbie)

Caught on camera: Moment police raided a sham marriage between Portuguese bride and Nigerian groom who knew nothing about one another
These pictures show police officers interrupting a sham wedding between a Nigerian man living illegally in the UK and a Portuguese woman.
Home Office immigration officers swooped on the ceremony, which was held at a registry office in Harrow, North London.
The man, 32, has now been sent back to Nigeria, and the woman, 22, is on bail until November 7.
Police interrupted a sham wedding in North London between a Nigerian man and a Portuguese woman
Portuguese woman, 22, led away from ceremony after questioning. She is on bail until November 7
Police swoop on a North London sham marriage
Broadcast on Sky News this morning, immigration officers said the woman may have married for cash on three separate occasions.
Police interrupted the marriage in front of guests and took the bride and groom for questioning separately.
 It emerged that they knew little about each other and that the man was working in the UK illegally.
Harrow Council leader Susan Hall said: 'It is appalling to see the lengths some people go to in dressing up and organising guests for a sham marriage.
'A marriage is supposed to be the happiest day in your life. Well, in this case, the couple certainly got a day they won’t forget.'
Immigration officers question the Nigerian man, 32, after interrupting his sham marriage ceremony
According to police, the 22-year-old woman may have married for cash on three separate occasions
Questioning by police revealed the couple knew little about each other and that the man was in the illegally
The photographs and footage come after it emerged yesterday that one in five civil marriages in parts of Britain may be bogus.
Some 15,000 such ceremonies a year are taking place simply to get around immigration law, estimates one of the country’s most senior registrars, Mark Rimmer.
Last year the Home Office received nearly 1,900 warnings about potentially bogus unions.
But Mr Rimmer, the chairman of the Local Registration Services Association, said that figure represented ‘the tip of a very large iceberg’. He said that in urban areas, up to 20 per cent of marriages are ‘suspicious’.
He estimated that overall, 15,000 of the 173,000 civil weddings each year in England and Wales could be fake unions designed to evade immigration laws.
Registrars were powerless to prevent couples they suspected of faking their relationships from marrying and were forced to conduct the ceremonies ‘through gritted teeth’, he said.

Mark Rimmer, chairman of the Local Registration Services Association, said official figures are the 'tip of a very large iceberg'
Mr Rimmer said the problem was worse than at its high point in 2004 because laws drawn up since then to deal with the problem had been watered down by a series of human rights judgments to the point where they were ‘meaningless’.
Last week ministers announced a major crackdown on sham weddings, with laws designed to ensure every potential sham wedding is reported and investigated before it happens. It also gives officials more power to delay the ceremony taking place by up to 70 days.
Official figures show that the number of reported cases has tripled in the last three years. In 2009 some 561 reports were lodged with officials, a figure which nearly doubled in a year to 934 in 2010. By 2011 it stood at 1,741 and last year 1,891.
Home Office officials admit that the figure is likely to severely underestimate the scale of the problem. They put the likely number of sham weddings at between four and ten thousand a year. But Mr Rimmer says the problem is even worse than that.
He claims only the most blatant cases are flagged up and ‘borderline’ weddings which are slightly suspicious go unreported.
‘We have seen huge increases in potential sham marriages presenting themselves to us, we now have more reports from registrars going to the Home Office, but I think that is the tip of a very large iceberg, and effectively the real scale of the problem is far greater than that reported to the Home Office officially,’ he told a Sky News investigation.
‘Most registration officers are not immigration officers, they came into this business to facilitate marriage.
Immigration Minister Mark Harper said extending the notice period for marriages there will be more time to investigate and prosecute those involved in sham marriages
 ‘So therefore they don’t want to be cynical, unfortunately therefore what happens is, the ones that are absolutely blatant get reported and there are some that are borderline that slip through without being reported – and that is the iceberg under the water and that’s huge – it is absolutely huge.
‘In an area like anywhere in  London it is multiple times per week. It would not be unreasonable to say that 20 per cent of all our marriages are suspicious, have some elements of suspicion about them. Very often the ceremony is done through  gritted teeth.’
Sham weddings became a major problem in the early 2000s and Labour passed a law in 2004 requiring couples including one foreign national to get an approval certificate from the Home Office before they could wed.
But this was watered down by a series of legal judgments on challenges under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act. As a result, Mr Rimmer said, the law became ‘meaningless’.
Ministers say new measures announced will provide registrars better powers to deal with sham weddings. When the Immigration Bill becomes law, every proposed marriage in which a non-EU national will gain rights to be in Britain will be reported to the Home Office.
Salome Almeida, 22, has been jailed for 12 months for plotting a sham wedding
A Pakistani student and a Portuguese woman were sent to prison for 12 months after they were found guilty of plotting a sham wedding so he could remain in the UK.
Salome Almeida, 22, admitted to police that she had agreed to marry Wahab Khalid, 23, for £1,340.
Almeida arrived in the UK a few weeks before the wedding was  due to take place and visited a register office with Khalid to give notice to marry.
Despite only being in the UK for 24 hours, she opened a bank account and received a national insurance number.
The pair were arrested in April this year at a register office in Harrow, north London, and confessed to conspiracy to facilitate a breach of immigration rules.
The notice period for marriages and civil partnerships will be increased from 15 days to 28 days for all couples, and officials will be able to increase that to 70 days in suspicious cases.
Foreign nationals from outside the EU wanting to get married in a church will first have to go to the register office and get approval – ensuring the authorities are made aware of the planned wedding.
Immigration Minister Mark Harper said: ‘Sham marriages have for too long been an easy target for migrants seeking to circumvent our immigration rules, often assisted by organised criminals.
‘By extending the marriage and civil partnership notice period to 28 days and allowing this to be increased to 70 days in some circumstances, we will make time to investigate, prosecute and remove those involved in sham marriages.’

chicco77 (f) at 16-10-2013 10:05PM
(22128 | Addicted Hero)

hmmm wahala
malamy (m) at 16-10-2013 10:19PM
(1516 | Gistmaniac)

Which one na!
Austinjack (m) at 16-10-2013 10:23PM
(533 | Upcoming)

Na waoooo
ThoRam (m) at 16-10-2013 10:30PM
(2645 | Gistmaniac)

 Undecided Undecided Undecided    
schmit (f) at 16-10-2013 10:37PM
(11810 | Hero)

tory 2 long
dareper (m) at 16-10-2013 10:46PM
(20618 | Addicted Hero)

Bad market
angesco (f) at 16-10-2013 11:19PM
(6688 | Gistmaniac)

Deported to Nigeria - I suppose thats punishment enough +losing £1,300!

Poor man.
deboalabi262 (m) at 16-10-2013 11:28PM
(13162 | Hero)

Survival of the fittest for UK.... Huh?

Noble12 (m) at 16-10-2013 11:37PM
(4817 | Gistmaniac)

you wan live for yonda by all means.
katdeluna2 (f) at 17-10-2013 12:15AM
(661 | Upcoming)

Not again nigerians !
matthew_mark (m) at 17-10-2013 12:30AM
(2 | Newbie)

Guy that is out side country for us,remember down fall of a man never the end, so as you fall keep on trying, since you have the mission.
winace (f) at 17-10-2013 12:31AM
(30152 | Addicted Hero)

Dis story does not have to be dis long na. Meanwhile cum bak home and farm u hear?
Talemythope (m) at 17-10-2013 07:09AM
(132 | Upcoming)

elmatado (m) at 17-10-2013 07:26AM
(538 | Upcoming)

Shegzan (m) at 17-10-2013 07:33AM
(6771 | Gistmaniac)

Watz dis abt?

paulanya (m) at 17-10-2013 08:31AM
(21 | Newbie)

No place like home.East,West,North or South,Home remain the best!
paulohking (m) at 17-10-2013 09:04AM
(12159 | Hero)

Roll Eyes
vicklove (f) at 17-10-2013 09:56AM
(2810 | Gistmaniac)

ebiteck (m) at 17-10-2013 10:16AM
(2747 | Gistmaniac)

i see
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