Gangs using sham same-sex marriages to dodge immigration laws

Nick Duffy September 22, 2014
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Gangs are holding sham same-sex marriages in order to dodge immigration laws.

An undercover BBC Inside Out investigation found that London gangs were arranging sham same-sex marriages for immigrants, providing them with fake brides or grooms in exchange for £10,000.

Same-sex marriages are used because it is easier to “trick” officials, as they are hesitant to grill gay couples about their relationships.

A sham marriage organiser. Ricardo, admitted to investigators that he had arranged same-sex marriages “lots of times” for illegal immigrants, while one of the brides admitted she was “no gay”.

Ricardo said: “It’s very simple. You say, yeah, I’m gay. No more questions for you, then finished.”

Mark Rimmer of Brent Council said: “I think it’s fair to say that registrars are very well experienced in looking for the signs where opposite sex couples are concerned.

“But it is much more difficult to spot the signs if you have a same sex couple whether it be male or female.

“Registrars are not able to pick up on body language.”

Alison Cathcart, Superintendent Registrar at Westminster Council said: “It’s difficult to detect. I would have thought most registrars would have some concerns that they’re performing ceremonies that aren’t actually quite real.”

James Brokenshire, Minister for Immigration and Security said: “From the images that you’ve shown me, I would want them to be followed up by our immigration enforcement teams.

“We’re strengthening the law this year to allow registrars to share information more readily to better identify sham marriage where it may be occurring.”

Mr Brokenshire confirmed that he would ‘follow up’ the evidence collected by the undercover team.

The special Inside Out London report will air tonight on BBC One at 19:30.

Related topics: civil partnership, England, equal marriage, Gay, gay marriage, gay wedding, lesbian marriage, lesbian wedding, London, London, marriage, marriage ban, marriage equality, Romanian, same sex marriage, Same-sex wedding, sham, wedding

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