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Police arrest dozens in Spain over immigrant sham wedding scheme

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Police arrest dozens in Spain over immigrant sham wedding scheme
Photo: Irina Patrascu Gheorghita/Flickr
09:05 CET+01:00
Spanish police have arrested 36 people suspected of arranging fake marriages between Spanish and Moroccan nationals who paid for the nuptials to obtain legal residency in Europe.

The authorities also charged another 271 people for aiding and abetting illegal immigration as part of the investigation into the sham marriage ring, a statement released on Tuesday said.

The ring, which operated in the town of Meliana on the Mediterranean coast, charged Moroccans €5,000-€8,000 ($5,500-~$8,500) to arrange a sham wedding and then help them get a residency permit.

"Once they obtained the residency permit and regularised their situation...they would return to countries like France, Germany, Holland and Italy where they lived and where their families were waiting for them," it
said.

European Union nationals who agreed to take part such marriages were paid €3,000-€4,000 by the ring.

Police detected at least 70 sham weddings organised by the group since they opened their investigation in May 2013.

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