A FORMER Kendal taxi driver has been in court accused of arranging a sham marriage so that he would be allowed to stay in this country.
Muhammad Nazir, 34, who comes from Pakistan, is said to have planned to marry 28-year-old Tanya Draginova, a Bulgarian national, in a ceremony at Lancaster register office in October 2013 even though he barely knew her.
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He is also accused of breaking immigration laws by lying about the sort of job he planned to do in the UK.
At Carlisle Crown Court yesterday Nazir, who used to own K Cars in Kendal but now lives in Richmond Road, Stockport, pleaded not guilty to three charges of deception.
Draginova, of Bradshaw Street, Lancaster, pleaded not guilty to assisting Nazir by agreeing to marry him.
The pair will be back in court for a further hearing tomorrow. Their eventual trial is expected to last three days.