wedding ring

Eleven people have been jailed after they were found guilty of facilitating and participating in sham marriages between European Economic Area (EEA) nationals and non-EEA nationals.

On 7 September 2013, a marriage was disrupted in Stoke between two individuals who later admitted that it was a sham.

A police investigation identified Olatunji George, 41, Clemence Marijeni, 43, and Donald Nwachukwu, 42, as the key facilitators of the sham marriage.

The defendants would create packs for individuals that contained forged passports, wage slips and bills. They would then charge between £2,500 and £3,500 for each pack.

The trio would then submit residence card applications to the Home Office based on relationships and marriages that we not genuine.

Following three trials, eleven defendants were found guilty and on Friday 21 October they were sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court as follow:

Olatunji George – found guilty in his absence of 10 counts of conspiracy to facilitate the commission of a breach of immigration law. He was sentenced in his absence to a total of 10 years.
Donald Nwachukwu – found guilty of 12 counts of conspiracy to facilitate the commission of a breach of immigration law and sentenced to a total of 8 years.
Clemence Marijeni – found guilty of 9 counts of conspiracy to facilitate the commission of a breach of immigration law, one count of facilitate the commission of a breach of immigration law, one count of possession of apparatus / an article or material with prohibited intention and one count of forgery. He was sentenced to a total of 10 years.
Cherene Cotterell, 30 – found guilty of conspiracy to facilitate the commission of a breach of immigration law and sentenced to a total of 2 years.
Victor Ibeh, 32 – found guilty of conspiracy to facilitate the commission of a breach of immigration law and sentenced to a total of 3 years.
Peter Fredrick, 27 – found guilty of conspiracy to facilitate the commission of a breach of immigration law and sentenced to a total of 3 and a half years.
Lenka Jakova, 38 – found guilty of conspiracy to facilitate the commission of a breach of immigration law and sentenced to a total of 2 years.
Idris Agia, 31 – found guilty of conspiracy to facilitate the commission of a breach of immigration law and sentenced to a total of 3 and a half years.
Josef Puzo, 28 – found guilty in his absence of conspiracy to facilitate the commission of a breach of immigration law and sentenced in his absence to a total of 5 years .
Pavel Farbar, 30 – found guilty of conspiracy to facilitate the commission of a breach of immigration law and sentenced to a total of 2 years.
Aishatu Ibrahim, 25 – found guilty of conspiracy to facilitate the commission of a breach of immigration law and sentenced to a total of 3 and a half years.
Wendy Stevens, Senior Crown Prosecutor from the West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service’s Complex Casework Unit, said:

“As this case demonstrates, the Crown Prosecution Service is working closely with the Home Office and the local criminal justice system to detain and prosecute those who are involved in abusing our immigration system.

“The ring leaders in this sophisticated sham marriage operation exploited vulnerable people in order to gain financially through their illegal activities.

“They would charge thousands of pounds in order to create packs which contained false documents, which they would then use to submit applications to the Home Office. They would then proceed to facilitate sham marriages between EEA and non EEA nationals.

“These gang members have been sentenced to a total of more than 52 years for their part in this immigration marriage fraud.”

Ends

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