UK Border Agency Crashes Wedding

They say love transcends language, but when you have to have an interpreter to exchange your wedding vows,  something’s not quite right. That was the opinion of the UK Border Agency as they observed the July 26 “wedding” of Subhani Ahmed, a 33-year-old Pakistani man, and a 35-year-old Slovakian woman.

The two were getting married as an attempt to circumvent UK immigration laws. However, officers working on Operation Relinquish, a government crackdown on sham marriages, were in the audience watching as the two pledged their eternal love for each other –  via an interpreter.

A spokesman for the UK Border Agency told the Yorkshire Post:

“The couple, who relied on an interpreter at their wedding to exchange vows and understand the registrar, were unaware of the presence of officers from the UK Border agency’s immigration crime team.”


Now, the man is in jail, sentenced to 15 months. His blushing bride, however, skipped court and is currently being sought by the authorities.

Investigators also found a price list breaking down the cost of the “marriage,” including payments for the bride, the wedding hall, pictures and administrative expenses. Perhaps some language classes should have been included, too? In addition to the unfortunate bride and groom, the ringleaders of the operation were arrested as well.

The UK Border Agency’s Jeremy Oppenheim told the newspaper:

“This operation successfully shows how our specialist team are playing a crucial role in not just identifying those involved in sham marriages but, importantly, those who are profiteering from them.”

Translators can have a place at weddings-just not as intermediaries between the bride and the groom! For example, if you’re getting married in another country with a different language, you’ll want the ceremony to be translated into your own tongue so that you can understand it. Also, sometimes the families of the bride and the groom speak different languages, so translations are provided for the audience. But one of the most important ingredients for a successful marriage is the ability to communicate. If you and your intended can’t speak the same language at all, you should probably work on that before entering into the bonds of holy matrimony!

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