Reverend Brian Shipsides admitted one count of conspiracy to facilitate unlawful immigration and has been sentenced to four years and six months.
Amudalat Abolore Ladipo, who acted as the organiser of the sham marriages, was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to facilitate unlawful immigration following trial and has been sentenced to three years.
The prosecution focused on a two and a half year period from December 2007 to August 2010. During that time the number of marriages at All Saints Church in Forest Gate rose by almost 16-fold from 15 ceremonies taking place in the previous two years to almost 250.
This was a large-scale systematic immigration fraud resulting in hundreds of sham marriages. The motive for the defendants was money and the motive for the mainly Nigerian nationals was to gain the right to stay in this country. Each aware that what they were doing was unlawful.
We were able to show how the number of marriages had increased, how there was a sudden increase in immigrants wanting to marry and how many of the couples seemingly lived at the same addresses.
There was a clear cover up in this case.
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