Dungannon Sham Marriage Conspirators Sentenced

28 November 2013

Agnieszka Kobus, 43, from Chestnut Grove in Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone, was arrested when she attempted to marry a Pakistani man at Dungannon Register Office on 17 October 2012. The ceremony was stopped by Home Office Immigration Enforcement officers before it could take place.

Kobus was sentenced to 12 months in jail today (Thursday 28 November) at Dungannon Crown Court sitting in Belfast for her part in the plot. Six months will be served in custody with six months on licence.
Hanna Adamczyk, 42, who was living at the same address in Aughnacloy, had agreed to act as a witness at the ceremony. The court had heard how she had flown from Poland to take part in the plot. She was sentenced today at the same court to 10 months in jail suspended for two years.
Both women, who have been on bail since their arrest, were found guilty at a previous hearing at Dungannon Crown Court on 23 October 2013.
Pakistani man Muhammad Zafran, 28, the would-be groom in the plot, was sentenced at Dungannon Crown Court to16 months in jail on 23 May 2013.
Zafran has since been deported from the country.
Liam Byrne, from the Home Office, said:
“These women were prepared to conspire with someone they barely knew, in an attempt to cheat the immigration system.

“Immigration crime is not victimless. The gangs involved often have links to serious organised crime. We will continue to make life as tough as possible for those who seek to abuse the system.

“The Home Office is cracking down on sham marriages and those who seek to cheat immigration laws face prosecution and conviction.”
A sham marriage or civil partnership typically occurs when a non-European national marries someone from the European Economic Area as a means of attempting to gain long-term residency and the right to work and claim benefits in the UK.
Anyone with information about immigration crime in Northern Ireland can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously or visit http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
1.       Arrests are carried out by trained immigration officers who carry out operations at businesses and private addresses, acting on intelligence received from the public and other sources. All intelligence is protected.
2.       On Tuesday 26 March the Home Secretary announced that the UK Border Agency would be replaced by two new immigration commands within the Home Office, an immigration and visa service and an immigration law enforcement organisation. These changes came into effect on Monday 1 April 2013.
3.       For all the latest Home Office news visit www.gov.uk/home-office. Follow the Home Office on Twitter athttp://twitter.com/ukhomeoffice.
4.       The Home Office is a member of the Organised Crime Task Force (OCTF) in Northern Ireland. The OCTF was established in 2000 to provide strategic direction for a multi-agency approach to tackling organised crime.  Chaired by Northern Ireland Justice Minister David Ford, the Task Force brings together representatives from Government, law enforcement and a wide range of other agencies.  It is a forum where partner agencies can discuss problems, share information and agree priorities