Arrests In Scam Marriage Inquiry

Arrests in scam marriage inquiry

BBC News
Page last updated at 14:11 GMT, Tuesday, 21 July 2009 15:11 UK

Fourteen people thought to be part of an international marriage scam have been arrested hours before weddings due to take place in West Yorkshire.

The UK Border Agency said it believed ringleaders were making 15,000 per wedding from marriages between European brides and Nigerian grooms.

Four men thought to be ringleaders, from Nigeria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, were arrested on Monday.

Two Slovakian brides and Nigerian grooms were also arrested.

Six other Nigerian men were also detained on suspected immigration offences.

The arrests were made at the Hartshead Moor services on the M62 and at locations in Bradford just hours before the weddings were due to take place.

It is thought gangs had been targeting the St Philip and St James's church in Scholes and St Luke's in Cleckheaton.

Det Sgt Peter Gallagher, who led the UK Border Agency operation, said: “Any foreign national caught trying to benefit illegally from the privileges of life in the UK faces prison and deportation.”