Eight Indian, Pakistani men arrested for planning sham weddings

India News Bulletin Desk
Eight Indian, Pakistani men arrested for planning sham weddings
Image: Wikimedia Commons (Flickr: ukhomeoffice)

Eight men from India and Pakistan were arrested during an operation by UK Border Agency officers moments before six sham wedding ceremonies were due to take place at Gretna registration office in Dumfries and Galloway.

The men, aged between 27 and 40, were living illegally in the UK and had all travelled Gretna from areas in England, including Bradford, Manchester, Southall, Blackburn and Wolverhampton for the sham weddings.

The UKBA officials received intelligence that the weddings at Gretna may not be genuine and attended the registration office on Thursday,18 July where they arrested five grooms and three guests due to attend the ceremonies. The intended brides from the Czech Republic, Romania and the UK were interviewed and released.

Six of the men have been detained pending their removal from the UK, while the remaining two are asked to report regularly to the immigration officers while their pending cases are concluded.

“Anyone in the UK illegally and seeking to evade our immigration laws should take heed of this latest operation. Expect to be caught by us and removed from the UK,” warned Anna Beattie, immigration enforcement team, Home Office.

A sham marriage or civil partnership typically occurs when a non-European national marries someone from the European Economic Area as a means of attempting to gain long-term residency and the right to work and claim benefits in the UK, the UK’s border control organisation explained.

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