Five people were arrested after Home Office immigration officials swooped before the ceremony was due to begin at Leeds Register Office, Yorkshire.
A 32-year-old Nigerian “groom” and his wannbe “bride”, a 29-year-old Slovakian woman, were arrested moments before the ceremony was due to begin.
Two witnesses, a 48-year-old man from Slovakia and a 54-year-old Nigerian woman, were also arrested.They also detained a 49-year-old Nigerian man who was found hiding in the ‘Khasi’ (toilet). Officers from the Home Office also seized a quantity of cash on Tuesday.
Four people have been charged with conspiracy to facilitate a breach of UK immigration law and the 54-year-old Nigerian woman was released on bail so she can probably go and be a sham wedding witness somewhere else.
Immigration officers revealed how they prevented around 70 sham marriages taking place in a single month by monitoring weddings before they took place at Leeds Town Hall in 2012.