A man has been arrested after immigration officers thwarted his sham marriage.

Enfield Register Office, in Gentleman’s Row, tipped-off immigration officers that a marriage between a 44-year-old Nigerian man and a 39-year-old Czech woman might not be genuine.

The Nigerian man was discovered to have been living in the UK illegally as his visa has expired. He has now been detained and faces deportation.

He also had £500 cash on him which is believed to have been his fee to the bride.

The woman from the Czech Republic was questioned and later released by officers.

David Seymour-Smith, head of the North London Home Office Immigration Enforcement team, said: “This is an example of the successful work we are doing to combat sham weddings and civil partnerships in north London.

“We work closely with registrars across the capital to prevent people from abusing the marriage system in a bid to get round our immigration laws.

“Where we receive information that a wedding may be suspicious we will investigate and, if necessary, intervene and arrest those involved.

“I would urge anyone thinking of entering a sham marriage to think again as there is every chance that you will be detained and removed from the country.”

Councillor Andrew Stafford, cabinet member for finance and property at Enfield Borough Council, said:

“Enfield Council works hard to prevent all crime and I’m delighted we’ve been able to team up with the Home Office to prevent this particular scam.

“It is unfair on Enfield residents and tax payers across the United Kingdom for people to enter the country illegally and take exist on state handouts and benefits that could and should go to more deserving families.”