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Bogus marriage 'groom' faces deportation

FACING DEPORTATION: Samuel Olufemi James

A NIGERIAN man, who hid behind a bogus marriage so he could remain in the UK, faces deportation after being jailed for 22 months at Derby Crown Court.

Samuel Olufemi James, who entered the UK illegally in 2003, married a Portuguese woman recruited by sham marriage fixer, Oscar Prata, in Lisbon.

The unnamed woman was paid 2,000 Euros to wed James at a church ceremony in Coventry back in 2009.

The 33-year-old then changed his surname to Odede to cover his tracks before setting up home with his true fiancé and daughter in Derby.

His plan unravelled when UK Border Agency (UKBA) officers arrested Prata, an Angolan born Portuguese citizen, as he was about to marry another Nigerian man to a Portuguese woman at achurch in Coventry. Prata, and those he was due to marry, were taken into custody.

When officers searched his home, they discovered documents with the names of those he had organised fake marriages for, including James.

However, it was only in March of this year that officers tracked down and arrested James after he submitted a fresh application for leave to remain in the country, including his name change and address in Derby.


BOGUS CEREMONIES: Oscar Prata

James admitted that his marriage to the Portuguese woman was fake and that he had married her for the purposes of remaining in the UK.

He also acknowledged that after the wedding, he never saw the woman again.

UKBA will seek to remove him from the country once his sentence is completed.

Oscar Prata, who was sentenced in 2009, served three years and was deported.

The fake bride received a caution. The two Nigerians in the other bogus ceremony were sentenced to a total of four years and eight months.

Detective constable Chris Aldridge, from the UK Border Agency's criminal and financial investigation team, said:

'This man thought he could abuse the immigration rules and evade justice by taking part in a sham marriage, moving to a different area with a partner and child and adopting a new name.

"As this case shows, we will track down, detain and prosecute those fraudsters who have no right to be in the UK,” he said.

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