Vicar arrested in sham marriages investigation

A Church of England vicar has been arrested as part of an investigation into sham marriages.

The Rev John Magumba was arrested at his home in Rochdale by officers from the UK Border Agency.

The 58-year-old, originally from Uganda, is team vicar for three churches in Rochdale.

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Dr Magumba, who is currently suspended from duty, was taken into custody and released after questioning.

A spokesman for the UK Border Agency said: “The UK Border Agency arrested a 58-year-old man in Rochdale on Thursday morning for questioning in connection with an ongoing investigation into sham marriages in the North West. He has been released on bail.”

A church spokesman said: “The Rev John Magumba was questioned by the immigration crime team over irregularities in relation to weddings.

“He will continue to help the authorities with their enquiries over the coming weeks.”

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The spokesman added: “Following proper procedures, the Bishop has suspended his licence to operate as a minister of religion while the investigations continue.”

Sham marriages usually involve non-Europeans marrying citizens of the European Union to secure long-term residency, the right to work and the right to claim benefits in the UK.