A Bedfordshire restaurant owner accused of arranging sham marriages has told a jury he was innocent of any dishonesty.
Gyash Uddin, 39, of Ivy Road, Luton, is said to have used his business to help Bangladeshi men gain UK residency.
Mr Uddin told Luton Crown Court members of his family from Bangladesh married Polish women working at the restaurant but he was not suspicious about it.
He denies conspiring to facilitate a breach of immigration laws by non-EU citizens.
The prosecution maintains that Mr Uddin was motivated to bring in relatives to the UK and then ensure they would be able to remain by marrying an EU national.
Prosecutor Will Nobel asked Mr Uddin: “Does it not seem farcical that all of this was going on around you and you thought they were all genuine?”
Mr Uddin, who owned a restaurant in Leighton Buzzard, replied: “No.”
‘Organiser and planner’
Mr Noble put it to Mr Uddin that he was at the centre of everything as he was related to, or employed, the “significant characters” in the case.
“You are not the victim of unfortunate coincidences, you are the facilitator, organiser and planner of everything, do you agree?”
Again Mr Uddin replied: “No.”
Two other men on trial – Mohammed Razul Miah, 35, also of Ivy Road, Luton, and Mohammed Dolan Miah, 29, of Spencer Road, Luton – have also pleaded not guilty to the offence.
Mohammed Razul Miah, claimed to be Mr Uddin’s brother-in-law, is accused of taking part in a sham marriage as part of a bid to remain in the country.
Mr Uddin is alleged to have helped the third defendant, his nephew Mohammed Dolan Miah, in his attempt to go through a sham marriage to another Polish woman.
Mr Uddin denies eight charges of conspiring to facilitate a breach of immigration laws by non EU citizens. He also denies a charge of possessing a blank Bangladeshi birth certificate for use in fraud.
Mohammed Razul Miah denies two similar charges and Mohammed Dolan Miah denies three.
The jury were told the two Polish “brides” have pleaded guilty to their part in the conspiracy and will be sentenced later.
The trial continues.
BBC © 2012