Couple held in East End in UK Border Agency swoop on ‘sham’ marriages

A couple have been arrested in East London as part of a wide investigation into the organisation of ‘sham’ marriages.

Police and immigration officers were involved in an early morning raid at 7.30am today at an address in Willis Street, Poplar.

A 25-year-old Bangladeshi man and 46-year-old Portuguese woman were arrested on suspicion of facilitating non–EU nationals into the UK.

The investigation centred on a number of weddings due to take place at registry offices across London.

“We are cracking down on sham marriages,” said Det Ins Karl Amos from the London Immigration Crime Team.

“We suspect the sole purpose of these marriages is to avoid immigration controls and stay in the UK.

“Our aim is to identify the organisers who profit from and fuel the demand for these weddings.”

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New, tougher government rules on non-EU immigration make it a criminal offence to be in Britain through deception or to facilitate illegal entry.

A sham marriage is defined as a non-European marrying someone from Britain or the Continent as a means of gaining residency and the right to work and claim benefits.