Zafar Abbas, aged 45, was found guilty of arranging sham marital services by Birmingham Crown Court. His co-conspirator was Romanian citizen Marcella Brotac, aged 36, who lives on the infamous James Turner Street, Winson Green, covered extensively on Channel 4's social commentary programme 'Benefits Street'.
With Abbas as the ring-leader, the pair, along with another individual Davinder Singh, were found to have arranged marriages between Eastern Europeans and Indian nationals so the latter could cheat their visa expiration dates. The services were conducted through Shrewsbury Register Office, and were valued at £12,000.
Officials at the registry office stated that they reported their doubts about the couples when they noticed that they spoke very different languages and seemed to have very little communication with each other. Singh, aged 40, was convicted for the single charge of pushing the marriage of his Slovakian partner to his cousin.