A spokesperson for Oxfordshire County Council, which runs the registration service, stated, “a report was made by us to the UK Border Agency about concerns regarding a potential sham marriage”. He continued, “Oxfordshire County Council registration service takes such matters extremely seriously and we have a statutory duty to report any suspicious activity to the relevant authorities.”
UK immigration officials have arrested a couple just minutes from getting married. The registrar at the Oxfordshire Register Office tipped off police that the wedding, between a 30-year-old Indian man and a 19 year-old Polish woman, was sham. Some 529 suspected sham marriages were reported by registrars last year, up by 54 per cent on the year before. This indicates that a growing number of people are looking to gain UK marriage visas through unscrupulous means.
UK immigration official, Terry Gibbs, from the UK Border Agency explained how registrars spot a sham wedding: People who plan on getting married have to have an interview beforehand to give notice of their wedding. Registrars do this day in and day out, so if they believe something is not quite right with the couple, they notify us.