03/08/2011

NI Sham Marriage Pair Charged

A 'bride and groom' arrested as they prepared to take their wedding vows in Co Armagh have been charged with immigration offences. This followed an investigation into the organisation of sham marriages, and saw officers from the PSNI and the UK Border Agency stopping a wedding on Monday at Armagh Register Office, between a Latvian woman and a Pakistani man.

The couple were taken to Banbridge police station where they were charged with attempting to evade UK immigration laws.

Muhammad Naeem Aslam, a 22-year-old Pakistan national, appeared before Armagh Magistrates Court charged with seeking to obtain leave to remain in the UK by deception.

The bride, 21-year-old Latvian national Jolantea Juska, and her sister, 26-year-old Jana Juska, who acted as witness to the marriage, also appeared at Armagh Magistrates and were both charged with assisting unlawful immigration.

They were all remanded in custody to re-appear at a later date.
News Image
In a separate operation, a marriage that was due to take place at Belfast City Hall was stopped and after questioning, the groom, a 21-year-old Pakistani national, was arrested by officers for overstaying the conditions of his visa.

This is the latest in a series of such raids undertaken by the Border Agency and the PSNI.

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

UK Border Agency senior criminal investigator Earl Aiken said: "The 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."

See: Charges Follows Sham Marriage In Belfast

(BMcN/BMcC)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

15 October 2021
Warning Issued After Reports Of Scams Across NI
The PSNI have issued a warning following a number of reports of scams from across NI. According to police, the scams involve a text or WhatsApp from a person claiming to be a family member, and have the common aim of encouraging the recipient to transfer money.
08 October 2021
Armagh Shortlisted For UK City Of Culture 2025
Armagh city has been shortlisted as one of the last eight places to be named UK City of Culture 2025. UK Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: "Culture is for everyone, regardless of their background and I'm delighted that the bids from our eight longlisted places will help areas across the UK level up by increasing access to culture.
02 November 2015
Majority Of MLAs Favour Same Sex Marriage
A majority of MLAs have voted in favour of legalising same sex marriage in Northern Ireland, however the DUP has lodged a petition of concern ahead of the vote. This means that while the majority favoured same sex marriage the motion was lost. 53 MLAs voted in favour and 51 voted against. Another politician abstained from the vote.
12 September 2012
Seven Charged With Sham Marriage Immigration Offences
Seven people including a solicitor and trainee solicitor are facing immigration charges relating to an alleged sham marriage at City Hall in August 2011. The alleged sham marriage groom was John Robert Nicholl, 55, from Sea Road in Castlerock, County Londonderry.
29 July 2021
First Minister Attends Dedication Ceremony Of New UK Police Memorial
NI's First Minister Paul Givan has attended a dedication ceremony of a new UK Police Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. Mr Givan laid a wreath commemorating all those from across the police service who had died on duty and said the memorial was a fitting tribute to those who had lost their lives to protect us all.