Manchester

Sham marriage organiser Diana Olivieira jailed

Diana Olivieira
Image caption Olivieira was arrested at her home address in Rotterdam

A 45-year-old Dutch woman has been jailed for four years for organising nine sham marriages.

Diana Olivieira flew the brides over from Holland to the North West for the ceremonies.

They all married Nigerian nationals so that they and their partners could take up residency in the UK.

She was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court after pleading guilty to conspiracy to facilitate non EU persons into the UK.

Olivieira was arrested at her home address in Rotterdam and brought to the UK on 25 July.

Investigations by the UK Border Agency found she travelled from Holland to the UK several times with her clients.

Flights were arranged for Dutch nationals to visit the UK for short periods.

As people from the Netherlands are entitled to live and work in the UK, while here their spouses applied for documents and National Insurance numbers.

After they married, the Nigerians applied for European Economic Area (EEA) residency status as spouses of EEA nationals.

Dave Magrath, from the UK Border Agency, said: "The sentence handed to Olivieira sends out a clear message that we will not tolerate abuse of our immigration system."

Six of the grooms and some of their partners have been prosecuted and received jail sentences totalling 17 years.

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