Gangs in the UK are selling sham gay marriages to illegal immigrants as fake same-sex couples are more difficult to detect.
One such gang organizes sham gay marriages for £10,000 ($16,326).
The gang’s leaders, Peter and Ricardo, told an undercover BBC reporter that it was easy to ‘fix’ weddings and they had done so ‘lots of times.’
They offered the female reporter two Romanian brides, both of whom said they were not lesbians but were willing to go through with a fake gay marriage for money.
One of the girls, Alexandra, said she had already organized six sham marriages and could arrange a ‘romantic’ photo shoot to convince authorities they were a real couple.
Ricardo said he had never had any problems with the police or immigration officers.
He said, ‘You say "I am gay." No more questions for you. Easy for gay.’
The reporter was posing as a woman named Ruby from Mumbai for the Inside Out London show.
The number of reported fake weddings has trebled in recent years, according to the Home Office. Government figures suggest 10,000 sham marriages take place each year but there are no figures for those involving same-sex couples.
Mark Rimmer, head of registration and nationality services at Brent Council, said, ‘Here in Brent, the Home Office stops marriages on a weekly basis.
‘In many boroughs in London the thought is that up to 20-30% of marriages are actually for the avoidance of immigration control.’
These statistics only account for straight sham weddings.
He said, ‘Many are concerned that they may say the wrong thing and end up red-faced.
‘I think it’s fair to say that registrars are very well experienced in looking for the signs where opposite sex couples are concerned.
‘I think it is probably more difficult to spot the signs if you have a same-sex couple whether they be male or female.’