‘Sham’ marriage couple charged by police for offences
Published 12/08/2011 | 15:11
A "sham" bride and groom have been charged with immigration offences.
Police intervened to stop the wedding between a Chinese woman and a man from Castlerock, Co Antrim, at Belfast City Hall.
It is the fourth raid by UK Border Agency officers and the police against suspected fraudulent marriages in just over a month.
Bride Shuli Lin, 46, appeared before Laganside Magistrates' Court charged with seeking leave to remain in the UK by deception and was remanded in custody.
The intended groom, Robert John Nicholl, 54, and Ye Wang, 19, daughter of the bride, were accused of assisting unlawful immigration and released on bail. A Chinese man who acted as witness has also been referred for prosecution.
A sham marriage typically occurs when a non-European national marries someone from the European Economic Area of the UK to gain long-term residency and the right to work and claim benefits.
Earl Aiken, senior criminal investigator for the UK Border Agency, said: "The UK Border Agency is determined to identify marriages that may not be genuine, and where we suspect that may be the case we will investigate.
"We have specialist teams of immigration officers and police working together to investigate cases just like this and ensuring people are not able to benefit from breaking the UK`s immigration laws."