Fake marriage network broken up

Seventy-two people were arrested and 546 charged throughout Spain in a National Police operation against arranged marriages.


The network, based in Valencia, paid Spanish women up to €4,000 to marry Nigerian immigrants so that they could obtain legal residence in Spain.

The immigrants paid the gang between €6,000 and €10,000 to arrange the wedding and obtain the necessary documents to get their residents’ card.

The network forged documents to make it appear that they had been issued by the authorities in Nigeria.

On the day of the ‘wedding’ the Nigerians were often supplanted by similar-looking compatriots who spoke Spanish, as many of the illegal immigrants did not.

Many of the people charged in Valencia, Castilla-La Mancha, Murcia, Galicia, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Cataluña, Asturias, Cantabria, Castilla y Leon, Aragon, Navarra, Extremadura, Madrid, Andalucia and the Basque Country have been identified but not yet located.

The investigation began in April when police learned that there had been a high request for marriages between Nigerians and Spanish women over a brief period, and that many of the addresses provided on the documents coincided.

The detainees are charged with crimes against foreigners’ rights and family relationships, belonging to a criminal organization, using false identities, document falsification and false testimony.

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