24 January 2012

Man wins UK visa case despite charges of bigamy and drug-dealing

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A 47-year-old Moroccan man has been allowed to stay in the UK despite having been charged with drug dealing and even bigamy.

UK visa

Bigamy is a crime in the UK.

Taoufik Didi arrived in the UK in 1986 and despite not having a UK visa was granted permanent residency when he married Karen Ann Ridley in 1989.

Along with a friend, Didi set up and managed Bar Lush, a bar in north-east London and in 2008, he began selling cocaine in the bar until he was arrested the following year after selling £160 'wraps' of the drug to undercover police officers on four separate occasions.

Did was sentenced to three years in prison for the offence, a conviction which would normally meet the criteria for automatic deportation. However, Didi launched an appeal on human rights grounds.

He persuaded UK immigration judges that he had been involved with a British woman, Marina Gregory, for 10 years and intended to marry her and start a family. The judges ruled that this provided Didi with a right to private and family life and allowed him to remain in the country.

Didi failed to fully disclose his relationship status however, and was found to have not only divorced his first wife, but married Ms Gregory in a ceremony in Cyprus in 2008, making him guilty of not just bigamy, but perjury as well.

Didi's case is being used as further evidence that more and more illegal immigrants are exploiting the rules of the Human Rights Act in an attempt to remain in the country.

The Home Office has claimed they will "consider any new evidence of abuse and where we can prove an individual has obtained leave to remain in the UK fraudulently we will seek to revoke it and remove them from the country."

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent UK immigration consultancy specialising in helping people prepare for their UK Ancestry Visa application.

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