Two members of a bogus wedding party were today jailed at Newry Crown Court for attempting to cheat UK
They were arrested on 14 July by specialist officers from the UK Border Agency and assisted by the PSNI after organising a sham marriage ceremony at Banbridge Register Office.
Ansar Mahmood, a 27-year-old Pakistani was arrested as he was about to marry 19-year-old Latvian Inese Millere.
Jekaterina Dolgu, a 27-year-old Latvian, who was acting as a witness and would-be bridesmaid, was also arrested along with Asif Nadeem a 34-year-old Pakistani.
Earl Aiken, senior criminal investigator for the UK Border Agency said after the sentencing:
“This case shows how people are prepared to enter into a marriage with someone they barely know to help them cheat the immigration system in exchange for cash.
“The UK Border Agency is cracking down on sham marriages and those who seek to cheat immigration laws face jail.”
Mahmood and Nadeem have been held in custody since their arrest and both pleaded guilty to the charges at a previous hearing at Newry Crown Court on 24 November.
Mahmood was jailed for 11 months on charges of assisting unlawful immigration (facilitation) by acting as a witness to a sham marriage at Newry Register Office on 15 June and seeking leave to remain in the UK by Deception on14 July.
Nadeem who was illegally in the UK was jailed for 11 months for seeking leave to remain in the UK by deception for taking part in a sham marriage at Newry Register Office on 15 June.
The court recommended that both men be deported from the UK on their release from jail.
Millere and Dolgu were both sentenced to nine months suspended for two years on two counts of assisting unlawful immigration (facilitation) by agreeing to take part in a sham marriage at Banbridge Register Office on Thursday 14 July and acting as a witness to a sham marriage at Newry Register Office on 15 June.