Jailed: Redbridge husband and wife ringleaders of sham marriage cartel

Ayaz Khan and Jurgita Pavlovskyte. Photo: CFI

Ayaz Khan and Jurgita Pavlovskyte. Photo: CFI - Credit: Archant

A Redbridge husband and wife who arranged sham marriages in an attempt to flout immigration rules have been jailed for a combined total of 11 years.

Jurgita Pavlovskyte. Photo: CFI

Jurgita Pavlovskyte. Photo: CFI - Credit: Archant

Jurgita Pavlovskyte, 25, and her 33-year-old husband Ayaz Khan were convicted of conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration at the Old Bailey on March 27.

The couple, who lived in Danehurst Gardens, flew Lithuanian women into the UK to marry Pakistani men who had no leave to remain or whose leave which was due to expire imminently.

The unions were marketed as business deals costing 3,000 Euros, with all the brides aged 18 to 25.

The couple’s finances were investigated by the Immigration Enforcement’s Criminal and Financial Investigation (CFI).

Ayaz Khan. Photo: CFI

Ayaz Khan. Photo: CFI - Credit: Archant

It was revealed that payments made into their account coincided with marriages which would go on to aid applications for residency submitted to the Home Office.

The Lithuanian women would arrive for the ceremony and depart shortly after, in some instances once their fees had been paid.

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Khan has been jailed for six years and Pavlovskyte for five.

Six other ring members were also convicted during an eight-week trial at the Old Bailey.

Seven Kings resident Tatjana Rolic, of Landsdowne Road, was convicted of facilitation and was given an 18 month sentence, suspended for two years along with Valerija Bartosevic, of John Williams Close, South Bermondsey.

The others were Irfan Farooq and Diana Stankevic, of Nelson Gardens, Hounslow; Muhammad Saqlain, of Worcester Gardens, Slough; Sheikh Ahmad, also of John Williams Close, South Bermondsey.

Stankevic, the third in command of the group, was handed a three year sentence for her roles as an interpreter, arranging false documents and helping men with their Home Office applications for leave to remain in the UK.

Saqlain also was handed a three-year sentence for collecting the Lithuanian girls from the airports when they arrived and helping prepare them for marriage interviews.

Farooq and Ahmad were both jailed for 18 months for obtaining leave to be in the country by entering into sham marriages.

Assistant Director David Fairclough from the Immigration Enforcement CFI team, said: “This was an organised criminal operation, and not the genuine enterprise Pavlovskyte and Khan made it out to be.”