Immigration officers raided the wedding of two Harrods employees, only to discover that the wedding was genuine.
Agents halted the wedding of Massimo Ciabattini, 31, and Miao Guo, 34, at Camden Town Hall and grilled the bride, groom and bridesmaids for half an hour before realising that the wedding was genuine and not a sham event held to obtain a visa. The couple’s answers matched up, they were well dressed, and they had genuine bookings at a restaurant and hotel after the ceremony.
After realising their mistake, officers allowed the wedding to resume.
The couple had fallen under suspicion after they struggled to spell each other’s names when they attended the hall to register their marriage. The brides’ visa was also due to expire within weeks, the Standard reports.
Camden Council flagged the planned wedding as a possible sham marriage.
A spokesman for the Council insisted: “We are legally obliged to report any suspected sham marriages or civil partnerships to the Home Office, based on the criteria outlined in the Immigration and Asylum Act of 1999. It is then for the Home Office to decide how to progress and whether to take action.”
Guy Taylor from campaign group the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants said the Home Office operated “generally on a basis of mistrust”.
“This is a life event where people’s expectations, money and energy is being poured into this one day and the Home Office don’t seem to care about ruining it by not making better background checks. Why didn’t they interview them beforehand?”