29 December 2009
Bogus bride jailed for part in marriage sham for UK visa
A Dutch woman has been jailed for six months by Coventry Crown Court after being found guilty of taking part in a bogus marriage with an illegal UK immigrant.
Eunice Ridderstap was arrested along with Vincent Akingbo, a Nigerian national, after the UK Border Agency acted on intelligence received and swooped in on the Parish Church of St Albans in Stoke Health, Coventry, on 18 July just before the pair was due to marry.
Eunice Ridderstap pleaded guilty earlier this month to facilitating a breach of UK immigration law by agreeing to enter into a sham marriage with a non-EU citizen.
The marriage would have enabled Akingbo to obtain a UK Visa and remain in the UK by deception.
Akingbo had entered the UK illegally; he was arrested along with Ridderstap and was deported to Nigeria in September.
The UK Border Agency takes swift action with those suspected of bogus marriages, which have dropped significantly since 2004, and they predict that identity cards for foreign nationals will further prevent immigration fraud by locking individuals down to one identity through their facial image and fingerprints.