Bride found guilty over marriage conspiracy

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A BRIDE has been convicted with three other people for their roles in a sham marriage plot designed to keep Pakistani men in the UK.

Slovakian national Zlatica Holubova, 29, was unanimously found guilty by a jury at Leeds Crown Court yesterday along with Eva Facunova, Lukas Murgos and Syed Gardezi of conspiracy to breach immigration law.

Kama Melly prosecuting told the court Holubova was involved in a “marriage of convenience” with a Pakistani student Ferrukh Khan on October 12 last year after he knew his student visa was expiring.

Her sister Irina Holubova then married another student, Mohammed Mughal, in December last year in another sham wedding aimed at giving him status to remain in the UK through marrying a EU citizen.

Their offending came to light on March 28 this year when immigration officials arrested another bride and groom just before their sham wedding at Leeds Town Hall.

Suspicions were reported about the marriage of that couple, Slovakian national Maria Racova to a further Pakistani student Muhammed Usman after they were noted not to “interact” with each other when they attended on an earlier occasion.

The jury heard among the guests at that wedding was Gardezi who had applied to marry another Slovakian woman but his application had not then been processed. Murgos and Facunova, who acted as the women’s interpreter was also at the March wedding.

Zlatica Holubova, Murgos, 22, both of Brompton Road, East Bowling, Bradford, and Facunova, 32, of Vivian Place, Little Horton, Bradford, were bailed for the preparation of reports until sentence. Gardezi, 21, of Lambton Terrace, Leeds, was remanded in custody.

Judge James Spencer QC told them they would be sentenced along with their co-accused. “The fact I’m adjourning your case for reports to be prepared also in some cases releasing you on bail is no indication of the sentence that will be imposed in due course, all sentencing options are open including prison.”

The other five involved – Khan, Racova, Mughal, Irina Holubova and Usman – have all pleaded guilty to the conspiracy.