30 Jul 2010

360 sham marriages conducted by vicar

6:19 pm on 30 July 2010

A British vicar has been found guilty of conducting hundreds of sham marriages to allow illegal immigrants to gain residency in Britain.

Rev Alex Brown, 61, presided over 360 fake ceremonies between African nationals and eastern Europeans, over four years.

Ninety couples were reportedly registered as living in one road in the parish. In some cases several brides and grooms claimed to live in the same house.

Co-defendant Vladymyr Buchak, 33, was also found guilty of conspiring to breach immigration laws by paying eastern Europeans up to $6000 to marry Africans, so they could obtain the documents they needed to live and work in Britain.

The Press Association reported Buchak, a Ukrainian national, had been living illegally in Britain since at least 2004.