Cambridgeshire

Peterborough couple plead guilty to sham marriage plot

A Lithuanian woman and an Indian man have pleaded guilty to plotting a sham marriage in Cambridgeshire with the aim of gaining him UK residency.

Gintare Sapelyte, 21, and Penta Karri, 34, who had overstayed his visa, appeared at Peterborough Crown Court.

A registrar became suspicious upon finding the couple could barely communicate with one another.

Sapelyte, of Reeves Way and Karri of Padholme Road, both in Peterborough, will be sentenced on 25 March.

They admitted conspiring to facilitate a breach of UK immigration law.

Speaking after the hearing, UK Border Agency assistant director Sam Bullimore said: "Concerns about the relationship were raised when the couple visited Peterborough Register Office to make arrangements for their wedding.

"The registrar was suspicious that the couple could barely communicate with one another in a common language.

"Indeed Sapelyte could not even pronounce her fiance's name correctly and had brought an interpreter with her to the interview."

While Karri insisted in interview that the relationship was genuine, Sapelyte admitted to agency officers that it was a sham and that she had agreed to participate on the basis that she would be paid £4,000.

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