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Uncovered: Britain’s Largest Wedding Immigration Scam

By Clare Westwood

Britain’s largest immigration scam has been uncovered by police recently. Between July 2005 and September 2009 383 marriage ceremonies were conducted under false pretences to allow people to gain visa’s and remain living in Britain. The church in St Leonards-on-sea is at the centre of the immigration scam.

The jury have found three men guilt of breeching European immigration laws. Ukranaina national Vladymyr Buchak and his Nigerian born accomplice Michael Adelasoye along with Alex Brown the town vicar.

The hundreds of African nationals got married to eastern Europeans living in Britain with the European’s being paid 3000 to pretend to be the bride or groom on the wedding day.

Immigration laws in Britain state that spouses of European nationals working and living in Britain legally usually receive permission for British citizenship. The condition that they have been living together for two years following the wedding was breeched by the couples involved in the scam.

Police investigating the case searched the church and came across registers kept by Green with details of every ceremony he conducted over the previous nine years. The figures are shocking when looked at in comparison to the period of August 2001 and July 2005 where only thirteen marriages were conducted.

Police have suggested that only thirteen of the marriages conducted in this time period were actually genuine. Couples involved have disappeared now and are being traced by police wherever possible.

When the trial was going on Brown pleaded his innocence and claimed to be unaware of his involvement in the sham. Investigators have said that he should have heard alarm bells when the amount of weddings he performed soared dramatically. His parish was originally in a predominantly white area yet over the period the ceremonies were being conducted the area became one of the most multi racial areas for miles.

The crown prosecution service has admitted that this case is the largest sham marriage for immigration purposes they have ever seen.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Westwood, Clare "Uncovered: Britain’s Largest Wedding Immigration Scam." Uncovered: Britain’s Largest Wedding Immigration Scam. 8 Aug. 2010. 23 Jul 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Westwood, C (2010, August 8). Uncovered: Britain’s Largest Wedding Immigration Scam. Retrieved July 23, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Westwood, Clare "Uncovered: Britain’s Largest Wedding Immigration Scam"

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