Man arrested moments before Kendal wedding ceremony as UK Border Agency officers swoop on suspected 'sham marriage'

AN alleged immigration offender from Nigeria was arrested just moments before he was due to take part in a suspected 'sham marriage' at Kendal Register Office today.

Acting on a tip-off that the relationship may not be genuine, UK Border Agency officers attended County Offices at around 11am.

Just before the ceremony began, officers intervened and arrested a 34-year-old man on suspicion of overstaying his visa and remaining in the UK illegally.

He had been due to marry a 24-year-old British woman, who was questioned by officers and released.

A UK Border Agency spokeswoman said the man was 'detained pending his removal from the UK'.

She told the Gazette that officers had been aware of the man for ‘several weeks’ and, had he not showed up at the ceremony, they would have ‘known where he was’.

The spokesman could not divulge where the 24-year-old woman lived or the nature of the tip-off for operational reasons.

She added that the operation was carried out with the full co-operation of the Superintendent Registrar.

Alison Wray, head of enforcement for the UK Border Agency in the North West, said: “We’re working closely with registrars to clamp down on sham weddings and civil partnerships.

“Where there are suspicions that a relationship may not be genuine we will investigate and, if necessary, intervene to stop it happening.”

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

Anyone with information about immigration offenders is asked to contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Comments (4)

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7:10pm Wed 2 Jan 13

hogheaven says...

Its happening all over the country just another loop hole that the Border agency have not fixed,we have NO proper border security in place its a joke
Its happening all over the country just another loop hole that the Border agency have not fixed,we have NO proper border security in place its a joke hogheaven

10:45pm Wed 2 Jan 13

snuggle-bunny says...

no doubt this woman is also a state scrounger and parasite. If she loves him and wants to marry then she'll go back to Nigeria with him and save the taxpayer a few more quid
no doubt this woman is also a state scrounger and parasite. If she loves him and wants to marry then she'll go back to Nigeria with him and save the taxpayer a few more quid snuggle-bunny

12:59am Thu 3 Jan 13

hemyfan says...

The day the Border Agency do anything other than "swoop" is the day I win the lottery....
They turned up after a tip off. Still, it probably gives the headline writer the cheap satisfaction of a McDonalds (another easily resented immigrant) to be able to use the phrase in the WG.
The day the Border Agency do anything other than "swoop" is the day I win the lottery.... They turned up after a tip off. Still, it probably gives the headline writer the cheap satisfaction of a McDonalds (another easily resented immigrant) to be able to use the phrase in the WG. hemyfan

3:28pm Thu 3 Jan 13

life cycle too says...

Perhaps the 24 year old woman worked for the Border Agency?

We are unlikely to glean any reliable information from a Gazette report! :)
Perhaps the 24 year old woman worked for the Border Agency? We are unlikely to glean any reliable information from a Gazette report! :) life cycle too

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