Sham marriage network sentenced to 26 years imprisonment


Eighteen members of a well organised and professional sham marriage network have today been sentenced to a total of 26 years imprisonment.

The group, which involved men from Pakistan and mainly women from the Czech Republic and Slovakia, had taken part in ceremonies of marriage solely aimed at breaching UK immigration law.

The women, who were all resident in England and living in Rotherham, had flown to Pakistan to marry the men and were also named as sponsors for the men on their visa applications. The visa applications, which were made by the men, sought settlement in the UK.

Clare Stevens, the lawyer in the case, said: "In September 2011, officers of Immigration Team of South Yorkshire Police and officers of the UK Border Agency approached the CPS with a file which detailed the widespread conspiracy. The investigation showed Talib Hussain and Rahina Zaman to be in command. They brought the brides and grooms together, they booked the flights for the women to fly to and from Pakistan to get married and they also were involved in creating and obtaining hundreds of fraudulent documents all for a fee.

"For the past 16 months, I have worked closely with the Police and with the UKBA to build the strongest case possible and to bring these people to court. The evidence in this case was extensive - I reviewed thousands of pages of documents.Ultimately, the Prosecution team was able to present this very complex case to the jury in such a way that they could see that offences had been committed and could see who was responsible for committing these crimes. I am delighted with the outcome."