18 sham marriages every week

Posted: March 24, 2011 in Law & Disorder

A wedding party arrested in Sheffield city centre last September as part of a nationwide crackdown have been jailed.

IlieThe bogus bride and groom and their party were apprehended attempting a sham marriage involving hastily purchased wedding rings worth £33, an interpreter to help them profess their love for one another, and around £2,000 in cash.

All five were sentenced for immigration offences at Sheffield Crown Court on 18 March:

the bride – Renata Toracova, 37, from Slovakia – was sentenced to 8 months;

the groom – Sajid Ali, 31, from Pakistan (in the UK on a student visa) – was sentenced to 12 months;

Ali’s interpreter – Mahtab Khan, 37, from Pakistan (with permission to stay in UK) – was sentenced to 46 weeks;

Toracova’s interpreter – Ladislav Mizigar, 40, of Slovakia – was sentenced to 9 months;

and Slovak interpreter – Michal Gazi, 22, from Slovakia – was sentenced to 9 months.

All five were arrested just moments before their wedding at Sheffield town hall on the morning of 10 September 2010, following an intelligence-led operation by a UK Border Agency specialist immigration crime team.

Officers recovered two wedding bands still in an Argos shopping bag and a torn-out page from the catalogue featuring the rings. They also found a receipt which led them to CCTV footage of the party buying the rings in Meadowhall Shopping Centre hours before they were due to marry.

With this Argos page I thee wed.

Officers recovered £1,400 from Khan – the same amount that the bride later claimed she was owed for her part in the scam, having already been paid £500 upfront. Khan later claimed he withdrew the £1,400 from a bank minutes before the ceremony for ‘gifts and clothes’.

Neither bride nor groom could communicate with one another, and they later admitted that they could not speak each other’s languages.

During questioning, Toracova admitted that she was already married in Slovakia and that her witness, Mizigar, was actually her lover here in the UK. She added that she had only entered into the scam because she had debts of £500. Ali explained that he was a student at a London college, but had only attended for 1 month before moving to Sheffield; he was looking for a way to stay in the UK as he was no longer studying. Both Toracova and Ali pleaded guilty.

Mizigar admitted to having known Ali for just 20 minutes, only meeting him the day he was picked up for the ceremony.

Evidence recovered from Khan and Ali’s mobile phones showed text messages containing the bride and groom’s names, dates of birth and passport numbers. Gazi, a ‘wedding guest’, was found to live at the same address as Toracova and her boyfriend Mizigar.

All five pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to breach immigration law.

Here’s another

A husband and wife from East London have been arrested as part of an investigation into the organisation of sham marriages.

At 07:30 yesterday, police and immigration officers from the London immigration crime team were involved in a raid at an address on Willis Street, Tower Hamlets. A 25-year-old Bangladeshi man and a 46-year-old Portuguese woman were arrested on suspicion of the facilitation of non-EU nationals into the UK.

The investigation centred on a number of weddings that were intended to take place at registry offices in London.

Still they come to the land where the pavements are covered in state benefits

IlieFour wanna-be illegal immigrants have been prevented from entering the UK after UK Border Agency officers found them hiding inside a lorry load of copper piping heading for Fareham.

The four, all men from Eritrea, were found in a Polish registered lorry at Calais port at 06:20 on 9 March when officers were alerted to their presence by sniffer dog Lola, a 5-year-old German pointer.

The stowaways were handed over to the French border police and the vehicle was allowed to continue onto its destination in Hampshire.

I thought this country was going bust

Yet the cost of the four–day no–fly zone over Libya operation to date is £28.5 million.

IlieThe cost of putting four Tornado GR4 bombers, three Eurofighter Typhoons plus support aircraft into action is an estimated £3,216,000 a day.

The Tornado costs £33,000 an hour to operate, including fuel, capital costs and crew training and the Typhoon costs £80,000 an hour.

The Storm Shadow missiles and submarine–launched Tomahawks which we are lobbing at Libya cost £1.1 million and £800,000 each.

Defence chiefs are said to be lobbying the Prime Minister to ensure that the extra costs are paid from the Treasury’s reserve budget. “This is a huge issue for us,” said a senior military planner. “Who is going to pay for this?

The taxpayer mate!

Also the Government is paying almost £5 billion a year for the 10,000 troops in Afghanistan.

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