Nigerian Man Deported For Attempting To Marry A Portugese Woman

The Moment Officers Raided Sham Marriage Between Portuguese Bride And Nigerian Groom

The photographs and footage come after it emerged yesterday that one in five civil marriages in parts of Britain may be bogus.
Some 15,000 such ceremonies a year are taking place simply to get around immigration law, estimates one of the country’s most senior registrars, Mark Rimmer.
Last year the Home Office received nearly 1,900 warnings about potentially bogus unions.
But Mr Rimmer, the chairman of the Local Registration Services Association, said that figure represented ‘the tip of a very large iceberg’. He said that in urban areas, up to 20 per cent of marriages are ‘suspicious’.
He estimated that overall, 15,000 of the 173,000 civil weddings each year in England and Wales could be fake unions designed to evade immigration laws.
Registrars were powerless to prevent couples they suspected of faking their relationships from marrying and were forced to conduct the ceremonies ‘through gritted teeth’, he said.
Mark Rimmer, chairman of the Local Registration Services Association, said official figures are the 'tip of a very large iceberg'
Mark Rimmer, chairman of the Local Registration Services Association, said official figures are the 'tip of a very large iceberg'
Mr Rimmer said the problem was worse than at its high point in 2004 because laws drawn up since then to deal with the problem had been watered down by a series of human rights judgments to the point where they were ‘meaningless’.
Last week ministers announced a major crackdown on sham weddings, with laws designed to ensure every potential sham wedding is reported and investigated before it happens. It also gives officials more power to delay the ceremony taking place by up to 70 days.
Official figures show that the number of reported cases has tripled in the last three years. In 2009 some 561 reports were lodged with officials, a figure which nearly doubled in a year to 934 in 2010. By 2011 it stood at 1,741 and last year 1,891.
Home Office officials admit that the figure is likely to severely underestimate the scale of the problem. They put the likely number of sham weddings at between four and ten thousand a year. But Mr Rimmer says the problem is even worse than that.
He claims only the most blatant cases are flagged up and ‘borderline’ weddings which are slightly suspicious go unreported.
‘We have seen huge increases in potential sham marriages presenting themselves to us, we now have more reports from registrars going to the Home Office, but I think that is the tip of a very large iceberg, and effectively the real scale of the problem is far greater than that reported to the Home Office officially,’ he told a Sky News investigation.
‘Most registration officers are not immigration officers, they came into this business to facilitate marriage.


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