Couple arrested in sham marriage investigation

Sham marriages exposed - Photo: stevendamron, flickr

A husband and wife in Tower Hamlets have been arrested as part of an investigation into the organisation of sham marriages.

Police and immigration officers arrested a 25-year-old Bangladeshi man and a 46-year-old Portuguese woman in an early morning raid on Tuesday.

The couple were arrested on suspicion of helping non-EU nationals enter the UK. The investigation focuses on a number of weddings that have allegedly taken place at registry offices in London.

Detective Inspector Karl Amos, from the London Immigration Crime Team, said: “It is a criminal offence to be in the UK through deception or to facilitate illegal entry into the UK, and we will fully investigate any allegations that are passed to us.

“We suspect that the sole purpose of these marriages would have been to avoid immigration controls and stay in the UK.”

A sham marriage typically occurs when a non-European national marries someone from the UK in order to gain the right to work and claim benefits here.

“Our main aim is to identify the organisers who profit from, and fuel, the demand for these weddings,” added Amos.

Anyone who has information about suspicious marriages or other forms of immigration abuse should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where anonymity can be assured or visit

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