Belfast Telegraph

Woman is serial sham wedding bride, court told

By Alan Erwin

A bride-to-be in an alleged sham wedding had already married two Nigerian men, the High Court has heard.

Portuguese woman Naydyne Botelho was arrested at registry offices in Larne, Co Antrim, during a ceremony for which she was to be paid £3,000, prosecutors said.

The 26-year-old was said to have only met her Bangladeshi groom twice before and admitted to it being a planned marriage of convenience.

Botelho, with an address at Cliftonville Avenue, Belfast, is charged with three counts of assisting unlawful immigration and making a false statement.

She was granted bail on condition that all of her identification documents are surrendered.

Police attached to UK Border Authorities interrupted the suspected bogus wedding before it went ahead on April 16.

Botelho, her 29-year-old Bangladeshi groom Mohammad Rahman, and two Portuguese witnesses were arrested in the swoop.

The wedding was allegedly planned so that Rahman could obtain residency in the UK.

Prosecution barrister Fiona O'Kane said that Botelho had confessed to it being a marriage of convenience.

She is also accused of being a bride in two earlier sham ceremonies involving Nigerian men in December 2010 and February 2012. One of these grooms applied to the Home Office for residency status on the basis that he was married to her.

A Nigerian marriage certificate, pay slips, utility bills and Botelho's identification card were included in the application, the court heard.

She has denied any involvement in the second marriage and claims to have lost her documents on a bus in London.

Sean Doherty, defending, said Metropolitan Police have confirmed his client's identification card was reported lost on February 13. He added: “She was working as a cleaner in London and had been for a couple of years before her arrest for these matters.”

The judge, Mr Justice Treacy, granted bail for her to live with a friend at the address in Belfast.

She was ordered to report to police three times a week as another condition of release.

Belfast Telegraph


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