Spanish police bust Nigerian arranged marriage ring

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Police have arrested 21 people suspected of organising marriages of convenience for foreigners who want residency permits in Spain.

10 June 2008

CASTELLON - Police have dismantled a group accused of organising marriages of convenience in small churches across the country for foreigners wanting residency permits.

The organisation, led by a Nigerian man, apparently helped 400 mostly African and Asian undocumented immigrants marry Spaniards, raking in around EUR 3 million from foreigners desperate for Spanish paperwork.

Each foreigner was allegedly charged around EUR 10,000, of which EUR 3,000 would go to their Spanish bride or groom. The wedding planners even provided witnesses.

The ceremonies were invariably celebrated in small village churches, where priests were less inclined to investigate the couples' backgrounds. So far 21 people have been arrested, among them five Nigerian nationals.

[El Pais / Maria Fabra / Expatica]

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