Northern Ireland

Three charged following 'sham wedding' in Belfast

Three people have been charged with immigration offences in Belfast.

Police stopped a wedding ceremony at Belfast City Hall on Wednesday.

Shuli Lin, a 46-year-old Chinese national, was charged with seeking to obtain leave to remain in the UK by deception.

Robert John Nicholl, 54, from Castlerock, County Londonderry, and Ye Wang, the 19-year-old daughter of Ms Lin were charged with assisting unlawful immigration.

The trio appeared before Laganside Magistrates on Thursday.

Ms Lin was remanded in custody. Mr Nicholl and Ms Wang received bail.

A Chinese man who was acting as a witness to the ceremony has also been referred for prosecution.

The wedding was stopped following an investigation into the organisation of sham marriages by the UK Border Agency.

Earl Aiken, senior criminal investigator for the UK Border Agency, said they were determined to identify marriages that may not be genuine.

"Where we suspect that may be the case we will investigate," he said.

"We have specialist teams of immigration officers and police working together to investigate cases just like this and ensuring people are not able to benefit from breaking the UK's immigration laws."

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