Posted on December 22, 2011

‘Together for ‘Five Moths’ and She ‘Loves Disko Music’: The Not So Romantic Crib Sheet Found in Sham Marriage Raid

Paul Sims and Louise Eccles, Daily Mail (London), December 22, 2011

It’s a list that perhaps every sensible man should compile about his partner–a helpful reminder of the date you met, her birthday and her favourite music.

Except that these crib sheets were written by a fraudster to help him pass off his sham marriage as the real thing, and included the somewhat giveaway line: ‘What’s your fencies (fiancée’s) name?’

Muhammad Usman, 24, from Pakistan, wrote the detailed memo about Maria Racova, a 22-year-old Slovakian, so he could convince immigration officials and the registrar that their union was genuine.

It reminded him of his bride-to-be’s nationality, that her favourite colour was red and that her preferred music was ‘disko’.

Miss Racova’s own memo about Usman, which like his was littered with spelling mistakes, included a reminder that the ‘1st time meat with hir [him] in cineworld cinma’.

She also wrote that they ‘have been living togather last 5 moths’ in a house with two bedrooms and that the ‘kitch is down with siting room’.

According to the memo, the ‘2nd flour’ has one room and her fiancé arrived in the country ’17 Jonwarry 2010′.

The word ‘mango’ also features in her notes, presumably a reference to her husband-to-be’s favourite food.

The sheets of paper were discovered at Usman’s home after UK Border Agency officers stormed in on the couple’s sham marriage at Leeds Register Office on March 28 this year.

A registrar had reported her suspicions after noting the couple were not interacting with each other when they attended the office on an earlier occasion in preparation for the ceremony.

Yesterday the couple were sentenced at Leeds Crown Court for their part in a wider sham marriage ring in which Pakistani men used Slovak brides in an attempt to dodge UK immigration rules.

Slovakia is a member of the EU, so by marrying a Slovakian citizen, a person has the right to live with them in their country of residence–in this case, Britain.

Usman was jailed for 18 months and Racova was given to a nine-month prison term suspended for 12 months with 150 hours community service.

Farrukh Khan, who devised the scheme, was jailed for two years and three months. Lukas Murgos, a Slovakian who recruited the girls, was jailed for two years and six months.

Another Pakistani, Muhammad Mughal, was jailed for 18 months for his part in the scheme. Officers discovered that Khan and Mughal were both students whose visas had expired.

They had married Slovak sisters Zlatica Holubova and Ivana Holubova the previous year to seek leave to remain in the UK.

Ivana Holubova was sentenced to a nine-month jail term suspended for 12 months with 150 hours community service.

Zlatica Holubova was given a 12-month conditional discharge.

Syed Gardezi, who had applied to marry another Slovakian woman, was jailed for 21 months, while Slovak Eva Facunova, who acted as an interpreter, was given a 51-week sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 200 hours of community service.

The court heard the group were involved in three bogus weddings. Judge James Spencer QC said the brides were in a ‘dire’ situation when they agreed to the marriages.

But sentencing the group, he said: ‘Each one of you has played your part in a most cynical scheme to break the immigration legislation so that those who had no right to stay here might achieve permission to stay.’