A 25-year-old Romanian woman and a 20-year-old man from Bangladesh were remanded on Saturday for six days for their alleged involvement in a sham marriage involving an 18-year-old woman also from Romania.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, the two suspects were arrested after the 18-year-old woman reported to the police that she had been encouraged by the 25-year-old to come to Cyprus to work, but was later convinced her to marry the 20-year-old man for €1,000.
After she married the 20-year-old at the Ayios Athanasios town hall in Limassol, she reported that the two suspects refused to hand over her personal documents. She said the man told her he would give her back her documents only after he secured a residence permit in Cyprus. She also reported that he had hit her and had threatened her not to go to the police.
The 18-year-old reported the case, following encouragement from a friend.
The two suspects made a number of claims that are being investigated, police said.
Interior Minister Socratis Hasikos said earlier in the week that new “drastic prevention measures” would be introduced by the immigration department in a bid to clamp down on sham marriages. He said that these will include grilling any couples that involve an EU citizen and a third-country national before issuing any certificates of freedom to marry.
Hasikos said that last year the immigration department denied entry to 68 people when it emerged they had arrived to Cyprus to enter into a sham marriage.