News story

Sham marriage cases on BBC’s Fake Britain

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Watch immigration officers thwart plans to cheat the UK immigration rules as they stop sham marriages in London and north west England.

The new series of Fake Britain featured two cases of immigration officers stopping bogus brides and grooms from staging sham marriages in a bid to cheat immigration rules and remain in the UK.

The BBC followed officers on a live operation in west London to stop the sham marriage between an Indian ‘groom’ and a Hungarian ‘bride’. After officers arrested the groom at Hillingdon register office they soon demonstrated the flimsy nature of his ‘wedding day’ cover story during questioning.

Sham marriage gang jailed

The second operation looks back at the successful Operation Frampton which led to a Portuguese sham marriage fixer being tracked down and jailed after organising a series of sham marriage ceremonies mainly in the Blackburn area of Lancashire.

Eleven members of a sham marriage gang were jailed for more than eighteen years for arranging weddings between Portuguese brides and the Indian grooms at register offices in Blackburn, Wrexham and Chester.

Dave Magrath, head of the North West Immigration Crime Team said:

We are working closely with registrars and the clergy to clamp down on suspected sham marriages, helping them spot the signs and encouraging them to report suspicions.

Where there is information to suggest that a wedding may not be genuine we will investigate and, if necessary, intervene to stop it happening. In 2012 Immigration Enforcement carried out around 500 operations targeting suspect weddings.

We target criminals involved in organising sham weddings, as part of their wider work tackling all forms of organised immigration crime, while we also carry out targeted checks on those applying for residency permits to ensure that relationships are genuine.

If you missed the show you can still catch the action at BBC iplayer.