Seven Detained In Sheffield Sham Marriage Operation

Seven arrested in Sheffield sham marriage operation

10 September 2010 Last updated at 10:33 ET

Seven people were arrested at Sheffield Register Office

A bride and groom and five wedding guests have been arrested in Sheffield during a UK Border Agency operation to target suspected sham marriages.

A 29-year-old Pakistani man and a Slovak woman aged 35 were arrested at the register office on Friday as a wedding ceremony was about to start.

Five other people were also detained. All seven were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to breach immigration law.

The arrests are part of a UK-wide crackdown on suspected sham marriages.

The UK Border Agency said nine people had already been arrested and charged in other suspected sham marriages in Sheffield over the summer.

Steve Lamb, operations director for the agency in Yorkshire, said: “We will not tolerate immigration abuse and our immigration crime teams are cracking down on sham marriages all over the country.

“The UK Border Agency is working closely with registrars to identify marriages that may not be genuine.

“We do not expect vicars or registrars to be experts in immigration law or spotting forged documents – that's our job.

“But if they have any suspicions about whether a relationship is genuine, we would urge them to get in touch with us.”