Sham Marriage Organisers Facing Jail Terms

A father of five who operated an international sham marriage operation from his home in Rotherham, South Yorkshire is facing a jail sentence.

Talib Hussain, 42, flew East European women to Pakistan for bogus weddings with Pakistani men in a "huge, well-organised, professional operation," helped by his wife Rahina Zaman, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

By marrying women from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Britain, the Asian men would have been eligible to immigrate to the UK to settle.

More than 60 applications for UK visas were subsequently submitted accompanied by fake documents and photos of the bogus weddings.

But Border Agency investigators became suspicious when they noticed the same people appearing in different photos and the same clothes were being swapped between brides, grooms and guests.

Sarah Wright, prosecuting, said: "This was a huge, well-organised and professional operation. The likelihood is that he was charging considerable sums to Pakistani nationals who wanted to live in the UK.

"Similar clothing appears in many of the wedding photos. It's clearly been provided to make the photographs look legitimate."

Thousands of documents were found when Hussain's home was later searched by Border Agency officials, proving it was the "control centre" for the fake brides and fixers who accompanied them to Pakistan.

Hussain entered the UK on a spouse visa in 1998 and was found to be claiming benefits when he was arrested.

The couple divorced shortly after their arrest and their home has since been repossessed.

Both pleaded guilty to breaching UK immigration law shortly before they were due to go on trial.

Nine others connected to the conspiracy are also due to be sentenced.

Hussain's brother-in-law, Mohammad Ramzan acted as a sponsor for two bogus applications. Some 120 fake documents were found in his loft when his home was searched.

Aftab Hussain, who acted as a minder when the women were flown to Pakistan, and Peter Pohldoko, who were both described as "facilitators," will also be sentenced for conspiring to break immigration laws.

Eva Holubova, Nadia Qureshi, Khalda Ahmed and Sabiha Bono Khan were said to have acted as sponsors and will also be sentenced as part of the same case.