Nigerian pastor and other members of his scam group of sham marriage ring has been indicted in one of the biggest sham marriage uncovered in West Midlands, UK. They were on October 21, 2016, jailed for about 52 years.
A Nigerian pastor and two other men, regarded as the driving forces behind the racket involving at least 45 fake relationships, received the longest sentences.
He used his position to identify West Africans in the country illegally who were prepared to pay up to £6,500 for permission to stay on the bogus grounds of being married to, or in a long term relationship with, a person from the European Union living and working in the country.
An astonishing £153,000 worth of credits passed through bank accounts run by the pastor under a false name before he was arrested at his home in Titford Road, Oldbury.
Pastor Nwachukwu and others had joined forces with a Nigerian law student to cash in a valuable asset – a person’s right to stay in the UK and claim benefits. The sham marriage gang was busted in 2013, following a tip off about a dodgy wedding between a 26-year-old Nigerian, Edward James, and Czech Julie Ondova, 20, who already had a boyfriend and two children but had accepted £800 to play the role of bride at Stoke Register Office with a further £1,000 due on completion of the nuptials.
Clemence Marijeni, aged 43, from Weston Road, Bilston was the master forger who created the fake documents to support the spurious applications for European Economic Area (EEA) resident’s cards that allowed the holder to stay in the UK and claim benefits. He was jailed for ten years. The graphics expert created fake histories for the West African and person supposed to be their long term lover – mainly Czech or Slovakian and promised up to £1,800 each to take part in the plot which ran from January 2012 to March last year.
False utility bills, rent books, pay slips and job records backed the bogus claim of a legitimate marriage or lasting relationship. Some included pictures of the pair – who were strangers – side by side in bed, fully clothed or shopping together.