8 people prosecuted for sham marriage plot to allow foreigners to stay in UK
Organisers of fabricated marriages have been accused of arranging “a stable of stooge wives” to marry foreign nationals to enable them to stay in the United Kingdom.
At Leicester Crown Court were accused Ibrahim Mahter, 29, and Abdulgani Makrani, 66 who allegedly arranged brides to marry strangers for money. Some of the marriages even counted bigamous.
Prosecutor Gary Short said, “This case is about the highly lucrative and very secretive world of the sham marriage.
“Our country is the envy of the world for many reasons and it’s those reasons that bring foreign nationals across our borders.
“These defendants are alleged to have been part of a conspiracy – an agreement – to facilitate breaches of the UK immigration law.
“It involves bringing strangers together to marry for money – lots of money.
“Kubrah Saiyed and Naima Makda are the stooges wives.
“Makda was more than just a stooge’s wife, as not only was she Mahter’s girlfriend, but the evidence will show that she was present at meetings with future husbands acting as a chaperone for other stooge wives.
The court heard that the speed in which these couples met, fell in love and started wedding plans “shows the sham status of the marriages.”
A young girl who had money issues reportedly tried to back out of such a marriage however was blackmailed by Mahter into paying £4,500 to reimburse those who organised the pre-wedding paperwork.
Other defendants on trial included Makda 28, Asif 29, Chhelya 28, Kocha 26, Mehtab 36 and Saiyed 27.
All hail from Leicester and deny conspiracy together and with others to organise and undergo sham marriage ceremonies for the purposes of breaching UK immigration law, between November 2005 and October 2012.
Makda denies bigamy when she married a man called Adil Sattar in 2011 and Saiyed denies bigamy when she married co-defendant Syed Mehtab in the same year. Mahter meanwhile denies blackmail, the trial continues.