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Sunday 27 May 2018

Trainee garda facing deportation after his €15,000 sham marriage to lesbian exposed

Garda Training College in Co Tipperary
Garda Training College in Co Tipperary

Ken Foy and Robin Schiller

A trainee garda who is originally from Bangladesh faces being deported after it was discovered he was involved in a sham marriage to a gay Lithuanian woman in order to become resident here.

The 31-year-old had been a student at the Garda College in Templemore, Co Tipperary, since last year but has now resigned after an investigation by the force's National Immigration Bureau (GNIB).

He also faces a potential criminal prosecution for his involvement in the sham marriage and a file is being prepared for the DPP.

It emerged yesterday that the Bangladeshi national and a friend paid more than €15,000 to two Lithuanian women who they married around five years ago.

Exams

The two women are in a relationship with each other and were so at the time the "marriage" took place.

The sham marriage enabled the trainee garda and his friend to secure EU residency rights and they settled in Ireland.

He passed a number of Garda interviews and exams before being admitted to Templemore last year where he was being trained to be a garda until a number of weeks ago.

However, the recruit became the subject of an investigation by the GNIB which formally interviewed him, his pal and the two Lithuanian women who were at the centre of the marriage scam.

All four could face criminal charges and the two men face being deported unless they leave the State voluntarily.

The bogus marriage was discovered as part of a Garda crackdown codenamed Operation Vantage, which was set up in August 2015.

The operation has uncovered massive profits and the modus operandi of Bangladeshi and other gangs from the Indian sub-continent who are involved in the scam.

Brides

On average, a man from this region who approaches the gangs so that he can marry an EU national to exploit the asylum and immigration system here "has to pay around €15,000 for the wedding to be facilitated", a senior source said.

The gangs then use their criminal contacts in EU countries to organise a "bride" to travel to Ireland to marry the asylum seeker in a registry office, with the woman being generally paid around €3,000 and spending just three days in the country.

The "brides" typically come from EU countries such as Lithuania, Latvia and Hungary.

Operation Vantage last year identified more than 450 sham marriages in Ireland.

Last November it was reported that 450 marriages had been halted in Ireland since sham marriage legislation had been introduced in 2015.

Irish Independent

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