Four jailed for sham marriage scam
FOUR people have been jailed for more than six years for their part in a sham marriage scam involving Nigerian and Dutch nationals.
The UK Border Agency (UKBA) investigation, working with Essex Police and other forces, was triggered when officers identified the suspicious travel patterns of passengers flying in and out of Stansted and Luton airports on tickets bought by Adeolu Eletu, a 29-year-old Nigerian.
On 10 February, officers from the UK Border Agency’s Immigration Crime Team (East), arrested Daniloush Solano, a 21-year-old Dutch woman, at Luton Airport as she attempted to board a flight to Amsterdam.
Investigations revealed that earlier that day Solano had married Eletu at a church in Wood Green, London.
Eletu was subsequently arrested on February 27 at his home address in Falcon Brae, Livingston.
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His Nigerian girlfriend Helen Omoboye, 33, was also arrested.
Sylvernus Ogungbade, a 36-year-old Nigerian, was also arrested on February 10 after officers established that Solano had caught her taxi to Luton Airport from his home in Goldbeater’s Grove, Edgware.
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Immigration checks revealed that Ogungbade, who was living alone, had recently applied for a visa on the back of his marriage to a Dutch woman who is still wanted by the UK Border Agency.
On Thursday at Luton Crown Court, Eletu, Ogungbade and Omoboye pleaded guilty to conspiring to breach the UK’s immigration laws. Eletu and Omoboye also pleaded guilty to perjury charges.
Eletu was sentenced to two years eight months, Omoboye was sentenced to 18 months and Ogungbade was sentenced to a year and eight months.
Solano had pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to breach the UK’s immigration laws and perjury at an earlier hearing on June 10. She was sentenced to 12 months.
Detective sergeant Andy Harvey, of Essex Police, said: “We started profiling passengers coming into Stansted Airport who only stayed in the country for 24 hours.
“This included young women coming in from Holland who when stopped and searched were found to be in possession of large sums of money.
“Through further enquiries and good police and partnership work with the UKBA, arrests were made in London and the Home Counties.
“We hope that these prison sentences will send a strong message to anyone else considering attempting to commit crime through Stansted Airport.”