Man Jailed For Sham Marriage Plot

24 May 2013

Muhammad Zafran, 28, was arrested when he attempted to marry a Polish woman at Dungannon Register Office on 17 October 2012 but the ceremony was stopped by Home Office Immigration Enforcement officers before it could take place.

Zafran, who has been in custody since his arrest, pled guilty at a previous hearing, and  at Dungannon Crown Court yesterday (Thursday 23 May) was sentenced to 16 months in jail for his part in the plot.
The would-be bride and another Polish woman who acted as a witness will appear at the same court at a later date.
Andrea Anderson for the Home Office, said:
“This man was prepared to enter into a marriage with someone he 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.
When passing sentence Judge McReynolds said:
“Your continued presence is detrimental to the country and flouting immigration law undermines confidence”.
She also recommended that Zafran be deported when he has completed his sentence.
Anyone with information about immigration crime in Northern Ireland can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously or visit
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 Follow the Home Office on Twitter at
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.  More information is available at