Posted on January 31, 2011

Crackdown on Immigration Fraud: UK Border Agency Arrests 10 Nigerians

Emeka Aginam, Vanguard (Nigeria), January 26, 2011

The United Kingdom Border Agency has arrested 10 Nigerians over sham marriages and immigration fraud over the winter, which has so far led to the arrest of over 200 foreign nationals.

With this development, those found guilty, according to UKBA will face imprisonment and deportation.

It would be recalled that since December 2010, British courts have handed out jail sentences totaling over 12 years to Nigerians arrested in these operations.

On 6 December also, Tunde Ayammiyi, 50, and Bukola Arinkanmile, 28, according to the Press and Public Affairs department of the British Deputy High Commission in Lagos were sentenced to 20 months and three years respectively for conspiring to break immigration laws.

Similarly, Victoria Adesola, 34, the statement added, was jailed for two years for her involvement in sham marriage.

“Two fake grooms, Olarotimi Ojugbele, 41, and Idowu Komolafe, 34, were also jailed for 21 months each for their roles in sham marriages. In Belfast, Patrick Ozegebe, 34, was jailed for six months for trying to open a bank account with a false Nigerian passport” the BDHC said in the statement.

The European accomplices of those involved in sham marriages, according to trhe statement by BDHC were also jailed.

Czech ‘brides’ Nadesa Mirgova, 26, Anna Gabcova, 32, Pavel Mirga, 23, Kveta Pokosova, 45 and Czech ‘groom’, Roman Horvath, 35, all received jail sentences ranging from 16 months to 3 years, the statement added.

Simon Peachey, the Regional Director for the UK Border Agency in Africa, said:

“We welcome genuine visitors from Nigeria to the UK, but we will be tough on those who breach their visa conditions, and will seek to remove them from the UK.

We take abuse of the system very seriously. A marriage certificate alone does not give foreign nationals the right to live and work in the UK. Their relationship has to be genuine, otherwise they face prosecution or removal from the UK.”

Those attempting to break the UK’s immigration rules by obtaining a British passport fraudulently face a prison sentence, deportation and potentially being barred from re-entering the UK. A non-EEA national who receives a custodial sentence of 12 months or longer can be considered for deportation after the sentence has been served.”

Damian Green, the UK Immigration Minister, said: “Tackling immigration abuse is at the heart of the Government’s agenda. Those who facilitate sham marriages are breaking the law and will be held accountable for their actions.

“We have made enforcement action against sham marriage a top priority. Where there is evidence to suggest a wedding may not be genuine we will investigate and bring those involved to justice.”