Arrests over suspected sham marriage

A bride and groom have been arrested just as their wedding was about to start at a Thames Valley register office.

The arrests at Reading on Tuesday 28 September 2010 were made as part of an investigation into an alleged sham marriage.

The would-be bride, a 25 year old Polish national, and her groom, a 22 year old Pakistani man, have been charged with conspiracy to break immigration law.  Two witnesses - both Polish men - have also been charged with the same offence.

Rob Allen, head of the UK Border Agency’s Berkshire Local Immigration Team, said: "We are working closely with registrars to identify marriages that may not be genuine, and where we suspect that may be the case we will investigate.

"We will not tolerate immigration abuse and our immigration crime teams are cracking down on sham marriages all over the country.

"Our main aim is to identify the organisers who profit from and fuel the demand for sham marriages, and destroy their criminal business."

The enforcement operation was part of planned nationwide action by the UK Border Agency to tackle illegal immigration and organised immigration crime.

Damian Green, the Immigration Minister, said: "The Government has tasked the UK Border Agency with carrying out an intense period of enforcement activity. We are determined to make it harder than ever for illegal immigrants to come to the UK."

Suspected sham marriage, Reading