In a bid to prevent sham marriages, Church of England vicars have received training from UK Border Agency officers to help them identify fraudulent weddings.
The agency now run half-day session which include tips on how to establish whether a relationship is genuine.
The clergymen and women from the Diocese of Chelmsford were also shown how to spot fake identity documents and household bills by the agency’s specialist forgery staff.
UK Border Agency deputy area director Tony Erne said:
‘We understand that it is not always easy to spot fake documents, and that is why we are happy to work with the Diocese of Chelmsford to provide some basic training.’
The training session on 16 September follows dozens of operations by the UK Border Agency in the last few months to stop suspected sham marriages from taking place.
The training sc heme follows a UK Border Agency crackdown on organised criminal networks exploiting the immigration system and the recent successful prosecution of the ‘sham marriage vicar’ who received a four year sentence earlier this month.
The Church of England vicar was among 3 men jailed for staging hundreds of sham marriages in East Sussex. Revd Alex Brown was found guilty of conspiring to facilitate breaches in immigration law, in what is thought to be the largest sham marriage scam ever uncovered in Britain.
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