Four jailed after sham marriage ring busted

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FOUR people have been jailed for a total of ten years for their roles in a series of sham marriages following a Home Office investigation into a South Yorkshire-based criminal gang.

Fixer Masoud Rasab, from Sheffield, organised three sham ceremonies in the East Midlands between November 2011 and June 2012.

Rasab was jailed yesterday at Sheffield Crown Court, along with co-conspirators Umair Hussain, Sabrina Khan and Alisha Mahmood.

A fifth member of the group, Keeley Cox, from Rawmarsh, Rotherham, will be sentenced on Thursday.

Pakistani national Hussain married Khan at Leicester Register Office in November 2011, a month before his student visa was due to expire. Mahmood and Cox were brides in sham marriages at Nottingham Register Office in April and June 2012.

Home Office investigator Mark Bates, from Immigration Enforcement Criminal Investigations, said: “This was a persistent attempt to trample over the UK’s immigration laws by a gang driven by dishonesty and greed.”

Cox pleaded guilty to conspiracy to facilitate a breach of immigration law earlier this year. The others were all found guilty of the same offence following a three-week trial.

Rasab, 38, of Firth Park Road, Grimesthorpe, Sheffield, was given four years in prison; Khan, 29, of Wade Close, Rotherham, two years and six months; Umair Hussain, 28, of Scott Road, Grimesthorpe, Sheffield, 21 months; and Alisha Mahmood, 21, of Avon Mount, Masbrough, Rotherham, 21 months.

Investigators are trying to locate two people in connection with the sham marriage ring – Yasir Irshad Awan, 28, and Muhammad Ishaque, 35. Awan’s address was Hinde House Lane, Page Hall, Sheffield, and Ishaque address was Barnsley Road, Grimesthorpe, Sheffield.