Immigration adviser admits organising sham marriages

An immigration adviser has admitted organising sham marriages.

Zafer Altinbas, 38, from north London, pleaded guilty to breaching immigration law and receiving money from the proceeds of crime.

He changed his plea half-way through the opening of a trial at the Old Bailey.

Tevfick Souleiman from Hertfordshire and Londoners Cenk Guclu and Furrah Kosimov deny conspiracy to breach immigration law.

The jury will return on Tuesday when prosecutor Nicholas Mather will continue setting out the case against the other accused.

Altinbas, of Islington, was released on bail and is expected to be sentenced at the end of the trial.

The prosecution alleges the scam was being run from the north London offices of a solicitors firm to allow non-EU grooms to remain in the UK after marrying brides from EU countries.

Solicitor Tevfick Souleiman, 39, and immigration advisers Cenk Guclu, 41, and Furrah Kosimov, 29, both deny conspiracy to breach immigration law between 2004 and last year.

Souleiman, from Hatfield, and Guclu, from Enfield, north London, also deny receiving proceeds of crime.

Kosimov, from Wembley, north-west London, who is being tried in his absence, denies money laundering.

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