Aylesbury man charged in sham marriage probe

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An Aylesbury man has today been charged following an investigation into a suspected sham marriage ring.

Nigerian national Nelson Kalu has been charged along with 12 other people following the Home Office probe.

Mr Kalu, 40, of Weedon Road, is accused of three identity document offences and facilitating breaches of the UK’s immigration laws.

The sham marriage ring is alleged to have been based in Leicester.

Seven Nigerians, five Portuguese and one Cameroonian were charged when they answered bail at Euston Street police station.

The eight men and five women, from Aylesbury, Leicester, London, Peterborough, Bromley and Romford, had previously been arrested as part of an operation led by the Home Office.

Following further investigations they have now been charged.

The other 12 have all been charged with facilitating breaches of the UK’s immigration laws.

They have all been bailed to appear at Leicester Magistrates’ Court on January 6.

Andy Radcliffe, from Home Office Immigration Enforcement, said: “We are working closely with churches and registrars to identify suspect marriages, and where we believe a wedding may not be genuine we will take action.”

A sham marriage typically occurs when a non-European national marries someone from the European Economic Area as a way of trying to gain long-term residency and the right to work and claim benefits in the UK.