A BRIDE-to-be was arrested when immigration officials swooped just minutes before she was due to get married at Sheffield Town Hall.
Happy Hathar, aged 23, from Sharrow, was arrested by staff from the UK Border Agency, shortly before her wedding to groom Ashraf Ali, 31.
A UK Border Agency spokesman confirmed they had arrested a 23-year-old Bangladeshi woman for over-staying her visa. He added: “She remains in immigration detention.”
The couple, who live on Vincent Road, Sharrow, had invited around 15 family and friends to the ceremony at Sheffield register office on Tuesday and had planned a reception for around 50 people at their home afterwards. Central Ward Coun Mohammed Maroof, a wedding guest, said Mr Ali was ‘completely devastated’.
He said the couple who are from the same area of Bangladesh, met in Sheffield and were married in an Islamic marriage ceremony last January.
Mr Maroof said: “They are my constituents. They had planned a reception for around 40 or 50 guests at their home. They are absolutely devastated – this is total humiliation.”
A UK Border Agency spokesman said: “We are determined to crack down on immigration abuse and will continue to take firm and decisive action against those who are in the country illegally.
“Our specialist immigration officers carry out enforcement operations the length and breadth of the UK every week, relating to marriage abuse.
Foreign nationals no longer have to apply for a certificate of approval from the Home Office to get married in the UK.
But the UK Border Agency has started routine liaison with registration office staff to identify suspicious weddings. Officers then swoop on couples to stop them reaching the altar.