'Sham' marriage arrests

Eight men have been arrested by immigration officers in Gretna registration office.

Home Office: "Expect to be caught by us and removed from the UK"

"Anyone in the UK illegally and seeking to evade our immigration laws should take heed of this latest operation. Expect to be caught by us and removed from the UK.

“The Home Office is working with colleagues at registration offices throughout Scotland and receives intelligence from a wide variety of sources.

"We will not hesitate to act against those who mistakenly believe that they can abuse the immigration system."

– Anna Beattie from the Home Office Immigration Enforcement team

What is a 'sham' marriage?

According to the Home Office a "sham" marriage or "sham" civil partnership typically occurs when a non-European national marries someone from the European Economic Area as a means of attempting to gain long-term residency and the right to work and claim benefits in the UK.

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Men arrested over 'sham' weddings travelled from all over England

Gretna registration office, where the men were arrested. Credit: ITV News Border

Eight men arrested just before a number of "sham" wedding ceremonies were due to take place in Gretna travelled from all over England.

Immigration officials say the areas include Bradford, Manchester, Southall, Blackburn and Wolverhampton.

There were five would-be grooms and three guests who were due to attend the ceremonies.

Six of the men have been detained pending their removal from the UK, while the remaining two must report regularly to the Home Office while their pending immigration cases are concluded.

The intended brides from the Czech Republic, Romania and the UK were interviewed and released.

Eight arrested over 'sham' weddings ceremonies

Eight men have been arrested by immigration officers in Gretna registration office.

The men from Pakistan and Indian were arrested just before six wedding ceremonies were due to take place on Thursday, July 18.

The arrests are part of a Home Office operation targeting fake weddings.

Police says they have arrested eight men aged between 27 and 40 - all of whom were in the UK illegally at the time of their arrest.