Away Day Bride

Raquel De Andrade, a 22 year old woman in Tottenham, UK was jailed for two years after she was arrested trying to marry a fourth husband in sham marriage. She is described a high-profile person in illegal marriages in Britain.


A registry worker found the marriage to be suspicious and summoned the law enforcement officials who were quick to arrive just minutes before they tied the knot and crashed the bride’s fourth wedding. Her husband to be is a Nigerian, who is 32 and was an illegal immigrant was using this marriage for leverage to stay in Britain. He has since been disbarred from the UK while the bride confessed to bigamy, perjury and facilitation. It was also found out that the bride use the same dress for her previous weddings.

It was reported that the bride and groom reached the registry on the 3rd of October and they merely had any support for what should have been their special wedding day.

De Andrade was charged by law enforcers with 2 counts each of bigamy and facilitation and perjury which was only 1 count. After confessing to the charges she was locked up on Tuesday.


De Andrade who is a Portuguese national had previously been married to three Nigerians who she helped to get permission to stay in the UK. Unfortunately for her it was fourth time unlucky as she was nabbed trying to marry for cash. After serving her two years, she will be deported back to Portugal.


Her illicit activities were uncovered at the Harrow register office which is located in North London. Investigations reveled she had three husbands before and that there were no issues in divorcing them.


Meanwhile a search is on to find De Andrade’s first three husbands. If found they will be prosecuted and disbarred form the UK.

Statistics shows that over 15, 000 marriages annually in England and Wales are deemed to illegal or sham. A report published in January determined that there are existing scams that take advantage of huge gaps in the border control and immigration rules.

A citizen who is not from the EU can receive permission to stay in Britain form a national from an EU state who is staying here. According to inspectors for immigration, this offers a onetime ticket for persons who want to stay legal in this country. Most sham marriages involve what is called away day brides, where a woman living in Eastern Europe travels to Britain for a couple of days to get married before returning home. The grooms mostly originate from some Asian and African countries.

Sarah Burton who heads an enforcement team for immigration believes that this is not a smart way to avoid immigrations laws. She says the authorities create a relationship with registrars across the UK in order to curb the illicit activities of sham marriages. She pointed to the De Andrade case as example of the accomplishment the authorities are getting from working with the registrar.

Susan Hall who is the leader of the Harrow council stated that they are operating closely along with the authorities to tackle the issue of sham marriages. She further added that the staffs are qualified in detecting and reporting fake marriages.