18 November 2017   |  Last Updated 23-12-2014 02:03

      Monday 24, November 2014

      Sham marriage gang sentenced

       

      Manchester Crown Court has sentenced a gang involved with ‘sham marriages’ between 2012 and 2013.

       

      Pakistani nationals married brides from Portugal in ceremonies organised by Mouhammad Amir to gain residency to the United Kingdom.

       

      Each groom paid Mouhammad Amir, 31, £8000 to arrange the ceremony, recruit the brides and prepare fraudulent paperwork. Amir paid the Portuguese women a sum of around £1000 for their involvement in the scam.

       

      Amir pleaded guilty to the charges of ‘facilitating unlawful immigration’ on trial in September 2014, and has been remanded in custody since March.

       

      On the 20th November, Amir received a sentence of four years in prison.

       

      Diane Moreira-Miguel, 22, has been jailed for 15 months, charged with escorting brides into the country and having her own illegal marriage. 

       

      The grooms, Muhammad Shafquat, 21, Mudassar Ali, 24, Mobeen Ashraf, 26, and Muhammed Asrar, 25, are all guilty of trying to achieve ‘residency on false premises’ and each received a sentence of 12 months.

       

       

      The Home Office understood the couples could not converse in the same language and therefore were unable to interact with each other.

       

      Judge Richard Mansell QC said Amir took a ‘significant sum of money’ for his arrangements to give these men the right to illegally be ‘exempt from immigration control.’  He described their actions as “a gross abuse of the institution of marriage.”

       

      Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire told ITV Granada: “The new Immigration Act is also making it even tougher for the fraudsters by extending the marriage and civil partnership notice period — giving officers and registrars longer to investigate suspicious marriages.”

       

      By Antonia Hunter from Manchester Crown Court

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