Gangs selling fake same-sex marriages

Criminal gangs in London are selling fake gay marriages for £10,000, the BBC's Inside Out London programme has revealed.

A female reporter posed as an illegal immigrant wanting to stay in the UK, and was offered two Romanian fake brides who were not lesbians but were prepared to marry anyone for cash.

Gang leaders Peter and Ricardo told the undercover reporter that they had fixed weddings "lots of times".

Ricardo also said they had never experienced any problems with the police or immigration officers.

He said, "You say, 'I am gay.' No more questions for you. Easy for gay."

Mark Rimmer, the head of Registration and Nationality Services at Brent Council, said, "Here in Brent, the Home Office stops marriages on a weekly basis.

"In many boroughs in London the thought is that up to 20 to 30 per cent of marriages are actually for the avoidance of immigration control."
However, those figures only cover straight fake weddings.

Mr Rimmer added: "I think it is probably more difficult to spot the signs if you have a same sex couple whether they be male or female."
Inside Out London is on BBC1 tonight at 8pm.

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