Two jailed for sham marriage plot
Two men have been jailed for their part in a sham marriage.
The men, originally from Pakistan, were arrested on 14 July after organising a marriage ceremony in Banbridge.
Ansar Mahmood, 27, was arrested as he was about to marry 19-year-old Latvian Inese Millere. He was sentenced to 11 months at Newry Crown Court on Tuesday.
Asif Nadeem, 34, who was illegally in the UK, was jailed for 11 months for seeking leave to remain in the UK by deception on 15 June.
Mahmood was jailed on charges of assisting unlawful immigration by acting as a witness to a sham marriage at Newry Register Office on 15 June and seeking leave to remain in the UK by Deception on 14 July.
The court recommended that both men be deported from the UK on their release from jail.
Jekaterina Dolgu, 27, also from Latvia, was arrested while acting as a bridesmaid and a witness.
Millere and Dolgu were both sentenced to nine months, suspended for two years, on two counts of assisting unlawful immigration by agreeing to take part in a sham marriage at Banbridge Register Office on 14 July and acting as a witness to a sham marriage at Newry Register Office on 15 June.
"This case shows how people are prepared to enter into a marriage with someone they barely know to help them cheat the immigration system in exchange for cash," said Earl Aiken from the UK Border Agency.
"The agency is cracking down on sham marriages and those who seek to cheat immigration laws face jail."