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Sham Marriage 'Lynch Pin' Jailed

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Earlier this month, I wrote about Michael Wright who was jailed for four years after .  Now a man hailed as the "lynch pin" of an East London sham marriage syndicate has also been jailed, this time for six years.  Ghanaian national Victor Kugbeadzor, 29, of Brixton, London, is known to have organised at least six sham marriages, including his own.

In October 2007 Kugbeadzor paid Kelly Bellotti, 28, of Ilford, Essex, £2000 to marry him to secure in the UK.  Two years later, Bellotti was jailed, along with three other British citizens who married foreign nationals at Kugbeadzor's bequest.  Shortly after she was sentenced, the UK Border Agency tracked down Kugbeadzor - who'd been on the run for 20 months - in Devon, where he was found living under an assumed name.

Kugbeadzor pleaded guilty to a series of charges, including conspiracy to breach immigration control, deception and ID card offenses, at Croydon Crown Court.  He faces deportation at the end of his sentence.  Three other Ghanaians married in weddings organised by Kugbeadzor have already been deported.

Commenting on the conviction, the assistant director of the UK Border Agency criminal and financial investigations directorate Malcolm Bragg, said:

'This was a sophisticated and organised plot, and the sentence handed down in this case shows how seriously we and the courts take these kinds of attempts to circumvent UK immigration rules.

'We hope today's sentences send out a message that anyone who tries to enter into or organise a sham marriage faces arrest, prosecution, and a long time in prison.'

** UK Immigration Rules - additional information & advice **

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