Two Bulgarian Citizens Jailed in UK for Sham Marriages

Crime | June 24, 2014, Tuesday // 11:54
Bulgaria: Two Bulgarian Citizens Jailed in UK for Sham Marriages File photo

Last week two women from Bulgaria were jailed after being flown from their native country to Manchester to marry Pakistani men facing deportation, reports The Telegraph. 

Nadya Kamenova, 20, and Temenuzhka Slavcheva, 21, were recruited by sham marriage organisers on Skype and agreed to marry the men, one of whose student visas had been rescinded. 

They received 20 and 12 months respectively for undermining the immigration system. 

Slavcheva’s nupitals last February were monitored by undercover border officials who had been tipped off by staff at Manchester Register Office. She married Muhammed Saleem, 28. 

Saleem - who was jailed for 20 months - from Rochdale, Lancashire, paid Slavcheva GBP 1 000 to marry him after his student visa was rescinded.

Four days earlier, Saleem acted as a witness in the fake marriage of Mohammed Shahbaz to Kamenova. Shahbaz, who has so far escaped arrest, is suspected of organising a number of other sham marriages.

The court heard that Kamenova was recruited by her UK-based aunt, who is suspected of being another of the organisers, via Skype, and got GBP 3 400 for the job.

Once in Britain, Kamenova helped make arrangements for her cousin Slavcheva's arrival.

"Before the accession of countries such as Bulgaria and Romania to the EU, most previous sham marriage cases involved 'brides' from affluent countries like Holland, and invariably spent only a few days for the marriage in the UK before returning to their lives in their own country,: Prosecutor David Toal, quoted by The Daily Express, said. "Such transient passage within the UK, gave the marriages the obvious appearance of shams. By choosing brides from poor countries such as Bulgaria, the grooms could be confident that their brides would be more willing to remain within the UK for longer periods of time or come to the UK on repeated visits." 

Simon Nichol, defending Slavcheva, said she was a 'naive young woman'.

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Tags: sham, marriage, UK, Bulgarian, Pakistani, Skype, jail, immigration, fake marriage
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