A Filipino student who committed bigamy in an attempt to breach the UK’s immigration laws has been sentenced 27 February, the UK Border Agency has announced.
Van Dexter Fuentespina, 23, of Marlborough Road, Watford, Hertfordshire, admitted that he had already had a wife and two children in the Philippines at the time of his marriage to a French woman at Watford Register Office on 5 September last year.
Today at Luton crown court, Fuentespina was sentenced to 8 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months and given 120 hours community service after he had pleaded guilty to charges of bigamy and perjury at an earlier hearing.
Andy Radcliffe, Criminal and Financial Investigations Team, UK Border Agency said:
‘This was a calculatedly cynical attempt to undermine the UK’s immigration laws. Fuentespina entered into this criminal endeavour with a complete disregard for the sanctity of marriage. He deserves credit for admitting his offences, but it is right he face the consequences of his actions.
‘Our message could not be clearer – we will not tolerate immigration abuse and we will take decisive action against those involved.’
His crimes came to light when Fuentespina, who had a valid student visa, turned himself in at Watford Police Station on 1 December last year.
He admitted that he failed to disclose the existence of his first wife and children when he entered the UK in September 2009 and again when he was married for a second time at Watford register office. His French bride, he said, was unaware that he was already married.
Checks carried out by our officers at the British Embassy in Manila confirmed that Fuentespina married his first wife in May 2009 in Iloilo City in the Philippines.
He also admitted that his main reason for marrying the French woman was with a view to applying for residency which would have allowed him to work and claim benefits.
The investigation involved seconded police officers working together with our officers to investigate organised immigration crime.
Anyone who has information on suspected immigration offenders can visit the report crime section on this website, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Source: UK Border Agency.
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