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Sham marriage organiser sentenced to six months jail by Belfast Court

Islamabad, December 11, 2012 (PPI-OT): The sentence is the result of an investigation by UK Border Agency officers who stopped a wedding at Belfast City Hall on 15 August last year.

A Glasgow man was yesterday (Monday 10 December) sentenced to six months in jail suspended for two years at Belfast Crown Court for attempting to arrange a sham marriage.

The sentence is the result of an investigation by UK Border Agency officers who stopped a wedding at Belfast City Hall on 15 August last year.

Asif Nasair 40, a taxi driver who also has business interests in Athlone, in the Republic of Ireland, admitted arranging the marriage in an attempt to help the groom evade UK immigration rules.

Nasair refused to answer questions about his involvement when arrested but at trial last month he pleaded guilty to assisting unlawful immigration (Facilitation).

Nasair acted as best man and witness at the ceremony and was arrested along with the would-be bride and groom, a 23-year-old Slovakian woman Veronika Dzurikova and Kashif Ali also 23, a Pakistani national.

Ali entered the UK in 2010 on a student visa but had made no attempt to study and was living in Glasgow and working in the UK illegally.

He said during questioning that he had lived with Miss Dzurikova in Glasgow for four months and that they had all travelled from there the day before the wedding. He also admitted that his intention in marrying was to avoid being sent back to Pakistan.

He was found guilty at his trial at Belfast Crown Court on 2 March this year on two counts of obtaining and attempting to obtain leave to remain in the UK by deception and was sentenced to 14 months in jail. He has since been deported from the UK.

Dzurikova admitted that she had supplied signed documents to Ali that were used in arranging the marriage but stated that she had never been to nor lived in Glasgow.

She was found guilty of assisting unlawful immigration (Facilitation) at her trial at Belfast Crown Court on 20 April this year and sentenced to eight months in jail, suspended for three years.

David Boyd, from the UK Border Agency said:

“This man and his co-conspirators thought they could abuse the immigration rules and evade justice by arranging a sham marriage at a location where they were not known.

“As this case shows, Northern Ireland is not a soft touch for this type of crime and we will prosecute those fraudsters who facilitate illegal immigration as well as those who have no right to be in the UK.”

Anyone with possible information about immigration crime should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit this website.

A sham marriage typically occurs when a non-European national marries someone from the European Economic Area as a means of attempting to gain long-term residency and the right to work and claim benefits in the UK.

For more information, contact:
Mike Girling
Press Attache
British High Commission
Islamabad
Tel: +9251 201 2000
Cell: +92300 500 5306
Website: http://ukinpakistan.fco.gov.uk

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