Thursday, July 4, 2013 - 03:29
Sentences Sham Marriages
In the mega trial on 30 sham marriages, the Rotterdam court sentenced the suspects to community service orders of 120 to 200 hours. The judge concluded that 23 of the suspects married in Britain to help illegal Nigerians to get a residence permit. The predominantly female Antilean-Dutch marriage candidates flew to Britain to apply for a British social security number. With this number they applied for various benefits like tax benefits. In exchange for the sham marriage they received amounts between 2500 and 3500 euros. These amounts were not always or only partially paid. Four suspects were acquitted. One case was dismissed and two cases were postponed. In a few cases, in addition to community service, also conditional prison sentences were imposed and in one case an unconditional prison sentence. After the wedding ceremony, the Nigerians submitted an application for a residence permit. In some cases they even used the identity of the Dutch for their Nigerian girl or boy friend and continued living in Britain. That marriages took place between Nigerians and Antillean-Dutch on large scale, became clear early 2010. The sham brides and grooms were recruited in the Netherlands to marry in Britain. The court concluded that the defendants knew or at least suspected that the residence of the spouses were illegal. The Public Prosecutor (OM) had demanded similar punishments, only the requested fines were not imposed by the court. The poor financial situation of the brides and grooms would then only get worse, according to the verdict.