Marriage ‘brokers’ imprisoned for faking weddings

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A SHAM marriage fixer who found Czech brides for illegal African immigrants including a Nigerian man living in Sheffield has been jailed for five years.

Czech national Milan Cina, aged 38, was jailed for five years at Burnley Crown Court.

Her partner-in-crime, Polish national Andzelina Surmaj, was given three years and eight months, but had to be sentenced in her absence after failing to turn up to court.

The pair - Roma gypsies both living in Bradford - acted as brokers by charging illegal immigrants thousands of pounds to arrange bogus weddings to EU nationals so they could stay in the UK.

One of the grooms they arranged a wedding for was Nigerian national Oladatun Ogundari, aged 31, who was living on Bellhouse Road, Shiregreen.

He told detectives he had spent his life savings of £6,200 to pay for the sham marriage, and was later jailed for 15 months.

The fixers are thought to have been involved in around 40 bogus ceremonies in all.

Surmaj, 30, targeted fellow Eastern European women who she befriended at the gates of a primary school in Bradford where her children were pupils.

Judge Beverley Lunt said: “It is clear this was a well organised commercial enterprise designed to defeat the immigration laws of this country.”

Surmaj and Cina both admitted assisting unlawful immigration by organising four bogus weddings.

Cina also pleaded guilty to acting as a witness at another ceremony.