London Borough of Enfield

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Hitch for sham marriages as Enfield Council cracks down

Published Friday, 21 November 2014

Since July, when new data sharing powers were given to local authorities, Enfield Council and the Home Office have exposed 12 suspected sham marriages and civil partnerships which were due to take place at the borough’s registry office.

These unions were suspected as sham due to the immigration status of the people who were taking part, and if the marriages or civil partnerships were to take place, would lead to people remaining in the country who had no right to do so.

One scenario involved a couple who did not know much about each other at the time of the Notice being taken, and on the day of the actual wedding the bride arrived in jeans and trainers and changed into her wedding outfit in the toilets! When the immigration police stopped the wedding and interviewed the couple, they found a handful of cash on the groom and a list of questions and answers on the bride regarding the groom. Both were arrested.

In a second case the groom was an over stayer whose Visa had expired over a year ago. When the couple were arrested, the police found the wedding rings were second hand and had someone else’s date of marriage engraved, which the couple could not explain. When questioned by the police, the couple gave a different version of the proposal i.e. one said at happened at home, while the other gave an elaborate romantic scenario.

Cllr Andrew Stafford, Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance said “Enfield Council takes a dim view of sham marriages, and those who arrange a false wedding simply to remain in the UK.

“Because of this we work closely with our colleagues in the Home Office to expose and endeavour to stop every marriage or civil partnership that we feel could be suspicious, and I am delighted to see that 12 such unions since July have been investigated and further action has been taken.”


 

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