Alleged 'sham' marriage arrests in Essex

  • Published

A bride and groom have been arrested at an Essex church on suspicion of staging a sham marriage.

The couple, and three others, were handcuffed at the start of a noon ceremony at St John's Church in Tilbury, said the UK Border Agency.

The five people are being held on suspicion of breaching immigration laws.

Investigators said the arrests were the culmination of an operation planned for weeks.

A UK Border Agency spokesman said officers emerged from a back room at the church, and that the vicar conducting the ceremony was aware of the investigation.

"Officers from a specialist immigration crime team stopped the wedding," said the spokesman.

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