The dramatic moment a bride and groom were arrested as cops bust sham wedding

June 9, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

This is the moment a bride and groom were led away from their wedding in handcuffs – after being arrested on suspicion of taking part in a sham marriage.

The 19-year-old Polish woman and her 30-year-old Indian husband-to-be were nicked after arriving at a register office.

They were arrested on suspicion of perjury after the registrar tipped off immigration officers about the suspicious ceremony.

Two male witnesses were also arrested on suspicion of assisting illegal immigration.

The arrests follow a major crackdown across the UK into sham marriages after the number of dodgy weddings rocketed by more than 50 per cent in 12 months.

An increasing number of EU citizens are marrying non-EU foreigners in a bid for them to gain visa’s so they can have the same rights as British nationals.

Officials from the UK Border Agency and officers from Thames Valley Police swooped on Oxfordshire Register Office in Oxford on Tuesday afternoon.

Stunned passers-by watched as the bride – wearing a huge white bridal gown – was led away in handcuffs.

Maurice Walker, 54, said: ”It looked like something out of a hollywood movie.

”The bride was certainly blushing when she was taken away in handcuffs.

”You don’t see a bride and groom leave their wedding in a police car everyday. It was extraordinary.”

Two houses in Oxford were also raided by cops as part of an ongoing investigation into sham marriages.

Oxfordshire County Council, which runs the registration wedding service in the county, confirmed they had tipped off immigration officials.

Spokesman Marcus Mabberley said: ”A report was made by us to the UK Border Agency about concerns regarding a potential sham marriage.

”Oxfordshire County Council registration service takes such matters extremely seriously and we have a statutory duty to report any suspicious activity to the relevant authorities.”

Official Home Office figures revealed there were 529 suspected sham marriages in England and Wales last year – up 54 per cent compared with 2008.

The UK Border Agency believes the tightening of immigration controls, the economic climate and efforts to clamp down on illegal working are to blame.

Spokesman Terry Gibbs said: ”The UK Border Agency is committed to striking at the heart of illegal immigration and tackling those who attempt to break the rules.

”And if we suspect a marriage is not genuine, we will take action.

”People who plan on getting married have to have an interview beforehand to give notice of their wedding.

”Registrars do this day in and day out, so if they believe something is not quite right with the couple, they notify us’

”An EU national has the right and freedom to live and work in Britain.”

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