A man faces removal from the UK after he was arrested just moments before he was due to get married in a suspected sham wedding in Oxford.
Acting on information that the relationship may not be genuine, officers from the Home Office Immigration Enforcement team and Thames Valley Police attended Oxford Register Office on Tidmarsh Lane at around 11:00 on Friday 5 April 2013.
They arrested a 25-year-old Bangladeshi man who was in the country illegally having over-stayed his visa. He was detained and now faces removal from the UK.
His would-be bride, a 24-year-old Polish woman, was questioned by officers and later released.
The operations were carried out with the full co-operation of the Superintendent Registrar.
Assistant Director Paul Smith, head of the Home Office’s Thames Valley Immigration Enforcement team, said:
‘Across the Thames Valley we are working closely with registrars and the police to clamp down on sham weddings and civil partnerships.
‘This operation is another example of the success that we are having, and more like this are planned in the future.
‘Those who would attempt to abuse the marriage system to get round our immigration laws should know that we will investigate and, if necessary, intervene and arrest those involved.’
A sham marriage or civil partnership 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.