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Solicitor jailed for 10 years for sham marriage scheme
22 February 2013
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Hatfield-based lawyer Tevfick Souleiman was this week sentenced to 10 years for his part in a sham marriage scam, which involved nearly 2,000 marriages and netted £20m.

Souleiman makes a worthy addition to RollOnFriday's pantheon of dodgy solicitors. His firm, Souleiman GA, arranged marriage packages for a fee of up to £14,000. But rather than a romantic church, flowers and glass of prosecco deal, the package paired up Eastern European brides with non-EU grooms, many of whom were part of the Albanian mafia. The firm provided fake tenancy agreements and forged documents to give the impression of a couple in love, according to a BBC report. Following the wedding, the blushing brides (who often didn't even share a common language with their new husbands) would be swiftly repatriated and told never to contact their husbands again. Now that's romantic.

    Souleiman looking forward to his ten year honeymoon yesterday

Souleiman managed to keep the scam going for eight years, making £20m before they finally caught the attention of the authorities. Police worked out what was going on after they busted an Albanian gang planning to bring £900m of cocaine into Britain and discovered their marriages had been arranged through Souleiman's firm.

The gang was jailed for a total of 35 years, with Souleiman himself sentenced to 10 years. Judge John Bevan QC told the disgraced lawyer "A heavy responsibility for upholding the rule of law rests with lawyers. If the public cannot trust the integrity of lawyers, who can they trust?". Err, that would be estate agents, secondhand car salesmen and politicians, obviously.


  

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anonymous user
22/02/2013 11:29
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Are the marriages carried out with this scam, or similar, considered legally binding?
anonymous user
22/02/2013 12:32
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Disturbingly, the Marriage Registrars across the country authorised to marry foreign nationals (ie not every county allows foreigners to marry there) are without any power to actually stop a marriage they think is a sham.

All they can do is "refer their suspicions" to police and / or UKBA.

Ironically, unless one marries in an Anglican church, the law requires foreigners to obtain a "Permission to Marry Document" from UKBA.

(Leave aside the Marriage Act of 1949 requirements - eg notification to general public, only getting married in a desingated venue - focuses on preventing the load of bigamy being committed post-war..)

I am not a supporter of the BNP/DailyMail/EDL .. but its pretty clear the controls this country has in place are not working.
anonymous user
22/02/2013 12:40
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When will the full set be available to buy?
anonymous user
22/02/2013 15:49
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In answer to the first post - the marriages are legally binding, but they can be set aside following an application by the Queen's Proctor. Any parties who knowingly participate in a fraudulent marriage can be convicted of perjury and face jail time too.
anonymous user
24/02/2013 11:22
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And all over France now, women are trapped into marrying non EU residents just to get the nationality or someone to provide for roof and accomadation.

In addtition to this fraud, they may be cheating on the side so as an icing on the cake, you get std s or even, the top of the tops, HIV.

Plus, if you are a caucasian and you sue that person who happened to be non-white, then you end up being labled a racist for daring to take legal action for wrongdoing done to you including the payment of penalties .... or being told you are a slut...

I know i have lived it .... i even had a sister who was found in the coma and died after she dated such an non EU criminal ... and i was myself ripped off by one of them and insulted in that manner ..

tell me this world is great and there is true justice ... i dont
anonymous user
11/02/2016 02:34
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Can any of my learned friends tell me what ''the coma'' is please?