Women held in Aston and Handsworth over sham marriages
Two women who tried to trick their way into staying in the UK with sham marriages are facing deportation.
A 36-year-old Jamaican national from Aston and a 53-year-old from Handsworth were detained by UK Border Agency officials in a series of raids across the West Midlands on Wednesday.
A source close to the investigation said they had been detained so they could be “removed from the UK within the next few days”.
A total of five women were arrested in swoops which were part of an ongoing investigation into sham marriages organised by Venrick Clarke.
The 50-year-old, from Oldbury, was last year jailed for nine years at Birmingham Crown Court which was told he organised 38 sham marriages over six years. Clarke would pay the would-be British wives and husbands in drugs or cash and even organised fake guests, a reception, photographers, clothes and wedding rings.
A Jamaican woman, aged 25, arrested in Winson Green, has been released as she has a dependent child but also faces removal from the country.
Two other Jamaican women, aged 33, from Coseley and a 52-year-old from Hockley, were released on bail and may now face prosecution for obtaining leave to remain by deception.
Officers were said to be continuing to search for another six people believed to have taken part in sham marriages.