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UK Priest escapes jail when NRI Paul Singh jailed 5 years in fake marriage cases


London, February 08, 2007
Ashok Parhar

Pastor Adeolu Magbagbeola, the Nigerian-born minister, who needed the assistance of staff to help him enter court, was only given two years' suspended sentence and ordered to pay £20,000 in costs, chiefly because of a debilitating diabetic condition.

NRI Paul Singh, who netted Pounds 400,000 by arranging fake marriages to enable Indian men to stay in Britain has been jailed for five years in June, 2006. Paul Singh charged £ 8,000 for a "package" with fake documents included the provision of false names, forged documents and a wedding photo to enable grooms to apply for indefinite leave to remain in Britain.

Paul Singh, 42, who had at least 10 false identities and had been deported three times, used threats to persuade women to marry more than 50 Asian men between 2001 and 2004. At least five women, some of whom were married to more than one man a day. He threatened to shoot them if they did not comply.

At the Celestial Church of Christ in north London, the minister charged £1,000 a time to perform services chiefly to immigrants from the Indian subcontinent, while his right hand man Paul Singh provided fake documents to be submitted to the Home Office.

Kehinde Akanda, for the defence, described his client as a very ill man with a life-threatening illness, and successfully argued that he should be kept out of prison.

He said: "There is no doubt he has brought shame on himself, his community and his church. That shame will be with him for the rest of his life."

Ms Anuja Dhir, prosecuting, said: "The minister played a vital role in this long running and sophisticated criminal conspiracy, which was designed to evade the United Kingdom's immigration control. He conducted a significant number of sham marriages thereby abusing his position as a minister of the church, and in doing so supported significant applications to the Home Office."