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Bogus brides and grooms jailed for sham marriage offences | Immigration Matters

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A gang has received jailed sentences of up to four years for immigration offences relating to arranging sham marriages, Web Newswire reports.

The convictions followed a co-ordinated set of high-profile arrests earlier this summer (20 July 2009) across West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester in an operation led by the UK Border Agency’s Immigration Crime Team and supported by West Yorkshire Police.

Many of those arrested were apprehended heading for the West Yorkshire churches of St Philip and St James in Scholes and St Lukes in Cleckheaton, just hours before they were due to tie the knot.

The investigation began when UK Border Agency officers received allegations from the Diocesan Registrar who had become suspicious after a sudden spate of applications for marriage, as well as the legitimacy of documentation submitted that pointed towards fake addresses being used.

The UK Border Agency’s Immigration Crime Team, made up of Immigration enforcement officers and seconded police detectives, then stepped and launched its investigation into what appeared to be marriages of convenience otherwise known as sham marriages.

During a covert investigation, it was, discovered that Adeola Orobiyi, a Nigerian national, was a central figure in the conspiracy. He was found to be heavily involved in making arrangements for a number of marriages of convenience, providing fake documents and false passports, which were used to establish identity and the status of foreign nationals in the UK. He also arranged transportation for those who intended to marry to see the Diocesan Registrar and to attend various meetings with the clergy. A number of forged Nigerian Passports were also recovered from his house as well as numerous identity cards and the passports of Eastern Europeans together with many other incriminating documents.

The moment the wedding plans were set for 11am and 12pm on Monday 20 July, joint teams of around 80 officers from the UK Border Agency and West Yorkshire Police, moved in on the seven in a closely co-ordinated operation that saw arrests made at a number of different addresses in the Bradford and Manchester areas.

DCI Dave Powell, Regional Head of the UK Border Agency’s Immigration Crime Team that led the investigation said:

This was a serious attempt to facilitate illegal entry into the UK for a number of Individuals by a well organised criminal network. Once again we would send out the message to those who seek to engage in Immigration related crime, this team poses a major threat to crime groups and will continue to target them and bring them to justice. I am delighted with the results achieved today which is testament to the work done by our joint team.

Welcoming todays convictions, the UK Border Agency’s Regional Director for the North East, Yorkshire and The Humber, Jeremy Oppenheim said:

‘I am very pleased with the sentences handed down today. The regional Immigration Crime Teams successful operation should prove a clear deterrent to others thinking of perpetrating immigration crime here in the UK – we will not tolerate this type of abuse of our immigration system.

‘Over recent years we have clamped down on sham marriages which is why suspected sham marriages have fallen from over 3,500 in 2004 to under 400 in 2008. Steps will be taken to remove all seven convicted today from the UK once they have served their sentences.’

Tom Klouda from the Complex Casework Unit at CPS West Yorkshire said:

‘This was a high profile, complex and challenging case and we worked closely with colleagues at West Yorkshire Police and the UK Border Agency to ensure that these defendants were brought to justice. Their sentencing today sends out a clear message to anyone planning to abuse the immigration system in this way that no stone will be left unturned in bringing the perpetrators to justice.’

The defendants:

– Adeola Orobiyi, [Nigerian], of 31 Lilly Lane Manchester pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Assist Unlawful Immigration; Possession of a False Identity Document with Intent and received three-and-a-half years imprisonment.

– Dennis Baiger, [Czech national] of 170 St Leonards Road,Bradford pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Assist Unlawful Immigration and the controlled supply of heroin, he received four-and-a-half years imprisonment.

– Lucia Koncekova, [Slovakian ] of 3 Dalcross Grove Bradford pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Assist Unlawful Immigration and received a 12 months suspended sentence.

– Richard Okunade, [Nigerian] of 12 Bowfield Walk Manchester pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Assist Unlawful Immigration and received 12 months imprisonment.

– Veronika Horvathova, [Czech national] of 29 Regency Court Bradford pleaded guilty guilty to Conspiracy to Assist Unlawful Immigration; Possession of a False Identity Document, and received a 12 months suspended sentence.

– Peter Abbey, [Nigerian] 27 Strickland Avenue, Dartford, Kent pleaded guilty to possession of a False Identity Document with Intent; Making a False Statement with reference to Marriage and received 12 months imprisonment.

– Adesola Adewole, [Nigerian] of 15 Fram Street, Manchester pleaded guilty to Possession of a False Identity Document with Intent; Making a False Statement with reference to Marriage; Possession of False Identity Documents with Intent, and received 12 months imprisonment.

Anyone with information about those involved in immigration crime should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

If you need any immigration advice or help with Studying in the UK, Settlement, Citizenship, Sponsorship, extending Work Permits, Visa or an appeal against a refusal please email:

info@immigrationmatters.co.uk or visit www.immigrationmatters.co.uk

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2 Responses to “Bogus brides and grooms jailed for sham marriage offences”
Read them below or add one

  1. im a filpina who overstayed in uk and went home last may voluntarily to file a civil partnership with my partner and unfortunately we were denied last september bec.of 2 reasons that they dont beleive that during my stay in uk that i didnt claim for nhs benefits and secondly why do i have a bank account in uk which actually my partner had done it for me to show to the embassy that he can sustained me when i arrived in uk specially im not allowed to work for 6 months..
    my solicitor was devastated from the decision but we asked some opinions that most of the over stayed will be denied bec.of 320/11…which my solicitor did not make us ready for it….
    we already filed an appeal and we are just waiting for the court day.what is our chances on appeal if the relationship is really genuine and we have all the proffs including pictures and other things that will prove that our relationship is really genuine
    more power
    miss k

  2. Good day Madam/Sir,I’m Filipina want to work in U.K.as a nanny,housekeeper.can you please help me.I have a experience as nanny and house keeper here in Singapore because i’m working here for 5 years,i’m still here in Singapore if anybody need nanny or house keeper please contack me.Thank you so much.God Bless.

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