Jail for sham marriage gang.

Posted: February 4, 2011 in Law & Disorder

IlieA sham marriage gang arrested shortly after staging a bogus wedding ceremony in Sheffield were jailed for five years for attempting to subvert immigration rules.

The case at Sheffield Crown Court is part of a much wider operation – Operation Relinquish – being led by the UK Border Agency’s specialist Yorkshire Immigration Crime Team targeting those suspected of orchestrating and taking part in sham marriages.

The five defendants in court were part of a series of 27 arrests across the summer of brides, grooms and their wedding party for trying to gain UK citizenship through deception.

The operation targeted the ‘sham marriage fixers’ who were behind the immigration scam. They were arrested on 26 July 2010 shortly after a wedding ceremony took place at Sheffield Town Hall, alongside the newly-wed couple, a 33-year-old Pakistani man, Subhani Ahmed and his 35-year-old Slovak bride. The couple, who relied on an interpreter at their wedding to exchange vows and understand the Registrar, were unaware of the presence of officers from the UK Border Agency’s Immigration Crime Team.

The specialist team captured the newlyweds and the wedding fixers on CCTV as they arrived and left the town hall. Footage showed the couple leaving and then meeting with the gang leader, a Pakistani male called Sajid Mehmood, 36, and two of his gang, Milan Benak, 39, and Gizar Demeter, 36, both Slovak nationals. Before the gang ferried the couple away in their people carrier, officers observed Mehmood handing over an amount of money to a third man who had accompanied the couple to their wedding ceremony.

Officers then followed the wedding party as it left the Town Hall and arrested the wedding party as they pulled up at a garage outside Meadowhall shopping centre. During the search of the vehicle, officers uncovered a note detailing in full the ‘price list’ for the sham marriage, totalling £10,695.

Amongst the list were:

· £4,500 girl

· £1,900 P60

· £2,100 Home Office (suspected administrative payments)

· £600 wedding permission

· £200 wedding hall expenses

· £250 – wedding photos outside garage

As part of the investigation, officers from the UK Border Agency’s Immigration Crime Team were able to identify a second couple linked to the gang. Officers arrested the bride, Kornelie Ferkova, 26, but her Pakistani husband had scarpered.

At an earlier hearing at Sheffield Crown Court five of the defendants pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obtain leave to enter or remain in the UK by deception. The sixth member of the wedding party, the Slovak bride, arrested alongside her newlywed husband in Sheffield on 26 July, failed to appear at the 10 January hearing and a warrant has been issued for her arrest. That’s what happens when you give bail to such people.

Those convicted Monday 31 January are:

Sajid Mehmood Sajid (Pakistan) (gang leader) – 15 months imprisonment (187 days remanded in custody to count against) for two counts of conspiracy to obtain leave to enter or remain in the UK by deception. A further count is to lie on file.

Gizar Demeter (Slovak) (gang member) – 12 months imprisonment (187 days remanded in custody to count against) for one count of conspiracy to obtain leave to enter or remain in the UK by deception.

Milan Benak (Slovak) (gang member) – 12 months imprisonment (187 days remanded in custody to count against) for one count of conspiracy to obtain leave to enter or remain in the UK by deception.

Subhani Ahmed (Pakistani) (groom to 35-year-old absconded bride) – 15 months imprisonment (187 days remanded in custody to count against) for one count of conspiracy to obtain leave to enter or remain in the UK by deception and one count of signing a false certificate to procure marriage.

Kornelie Ferkova (Czech) (bride to absconded groom – seven months imprisonment for one count of conspiracy to obtain leave to enter or remain in the UK by deception

On yer bike mate!

MP Hugh Bayley a Labour backbencher claimed a ‘fuel’ allowance for cycling to work.

He claimed the allowance to cover the cost of eating more because cycling burns more energy than using other forms of transport.

Bayley made five claims totalling £4.80 for riding around his York constituency last year and says he is entitled to the money because his bicycle needs to be kept in working order.

Among Mr Bayley’s claims were one for 40p for a two-mile bike ride in September, a day after claiming £84.80 for a car journey. Perhaps it was raining that day.

Mr Bayley has claimed more than £100,000 since 2003 to cover the cost of his two homes.

In the two months since the new expenses system was introduced last year, he claimed £8,227.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s