Sham marriage gang jailed after fake bride is caught with crib sheet on her new husband’s height, shoe size and how often they had sex
- Alisha Mahmood, 21, had the sheet in case she was quizzed by officials
- Included details such as new husband’s height and how often they had sex
- Yesterday she was jailed for 21 months at Sheffield Crown Court
- Mahmood was part of a gang who offered weddings for Pakistani men
- Masoud Rasab acted as the ringleader with Sabrina Kahn as a recruiter
- Rasab was jailed for four years while Khan received two-and-a-half years
- Khan also took part in sham wedding marrying fake groom Umair Hussain
- He was sentenced to 21 months in prison and will also be deported
A sham marriage gang has been jailed after a fake bride was caught with a crib sheet listing her bogus husband’s height, shoe size, how they met and how often they had sex.
Alisha Mahmood was part of a gang who staged fake weddings to allow Pakistani men to gain visas to live in the UK by marrying British brides they had never met.
The women were allegedly paid up to £7,000 each to take part in bogus ceremonies in Nottingham, Leicester and Hertfordshire in a bid to get around border controls.
The crib sheet was made to prepare Mahmood, 21, to answer questions if quizzed by the authorities about her new husband.
Details included his height, weight, shoe sizes, the colour of the walls and carpets in his house and even how frequently they had sex.
At Sheffield Crown Court yesterday, Mahmood was jailed for 21 months after being convicted of conspiring to facilitate a breach of the UK immigration laws following a four week trial.
Gang leader Masoud Rasab, 38, who arranged the fake marriages was also jailed for four years, while another fake bride Sabrina Khan was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison.
Fake groom Umair Hussain was jailed for 21 months and will be deported once he has finished his sentence.
During the trial the court heard how the Pakistani men all entered the country on student visas and took part in sham weddings before seeking Home Office permission to remain in the UK.
Chris Smith, prosecuting, said: ‘The women in this case were prepared for money to marry men they did not love. It was less about passion and more about profit.’
The court heard how Mahmood had become a ‘bride’ in a sham marriage in Nottingham with a groom who had arrived in the UK in April 2006 on a student visa.
The couple were reported to the Home Office by a suspicious registrar who said they saw ‘little interaction between the couple’.
Suspicions were also raised when the groom claimed he had only just moved into his address when in fact he had lived there for four years.
The couple were eventually arrested when they attended a Home Office interview in Sheffield after the crib sheet was found at Mahmood’s home.
Mr Smith added: ‘It gave his height, weight, shoe size, details of the early stages of their relationship and the frequency of their love-making.’
The court was also told that Khan, 29, married 28-year-old Umair Hussain, when he arrived in the UK on a student visa in April 2006.
They married at Leicester Registry Office in November 2011, a month after they met, and just six weeks before Hussain’s visa was due to expire.
Investigators later found a ‘fistful’ of receipts under a mattress at his home in Sheffied showing he had paid £2,000 into Khan’s bank account.
The couple then applied for Hussain to remain in the UK and provided utility bills in their joint names.
But Mr Smith explained: ‘Sabrina Khan was somewhat single. Department of Work and Pensions records showed she was claiming benefit as a single person long after they had married.’
Months later, mobile records showed she was having ‘intimate conversations’ with another man and she sent a text to her husband saying: ‘Can you text your address? I need to change my address to your details.’
Another sham marriage was then arranged involving Keeley Cox and another man, after she was recruited by her friend Mahmood.
Three men turned up at her house including Rasab, and asked Cox if she wanted to marry someone for cash and discovered that Mahmood and Khan would get £250 for every willing bride they could recruit.
In April 2012, Cox was picked to undergo a sham marriage at Nottingham Registry Office and ‘vile’ threats were made against her and her children when she tried to pull out.
The court heard how Rasab organised a network of recruit agents to bring in new ‘brides’ with Khan in charge of groundwork and Mahmood acting as a scout.
Judge Michael Murphy told Rasab: ‘You are a businessman and entrepreneur and a thoroughly dishnonest person. It was motivated by greed.’
As he jailed the gang, the judge told them that the UK’s immigration laws reflected that human beings tend to meet and fall in love and wish to live together.
But he added the group had undermined the system explaining: ‘Where people like you four seek to exploit the system you undermine it for others and cause public confidence in the immigration laws to be reduced.
‘It is no defence whatsoever for any one of you to say that you were hard up. Many people today are hard up.’
He said Khan was a ‘recruiter and persuader’ and Mahmood had played a part in getting vulnerable Keeley Cox to join the enterprise.
He said he had to pass deterrent sentences because sham marriages had become a ‘prevalent’ crime in the UK.
Speaking after sentence was passed, Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire said: ‘These sentences send a clear message to the criminals who think they can cheat our immigration laws.
While Home Office investigator Mark Bates added: ‘This was a persistent attempt to trample over the UK’s immigration laws by a gang driven by dishonesty and greed.’
Cox has also admitted conspiring to facilitate a breach of the UK immigration laws and will be sentenced later this week.
Tahir Siddique, 41, of Sheffield was found not guilty of allowing his home to be used as part of the conspiracy.
A couple who allegedly took part in a fourth bogus wedding in Hertfordshire, Tracy Coulstock, 48, and Gul Khatab, 35, will face trial later this year.
Two Pakistani nationals, Yasir Irshad Awan, 28, and Muhammad Ishaque, 35 are still wanted by investigators in connection with the sham marriage ring.