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Croydon vicar Nathan Ntege and verger Brian Miller appear in court on 'sham marriage' charges

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A VICAR who may have conducted up to 492 sham marriages has appeared in court alongside his 79-year-old verger.
The Reverend Nathan Ntege, 53, is charged with 14 immigration offences relating to hundreds of marriages held over a 15-month period at the Church of St Jude's and St Aidan's in Thornton Heath.
Today (Friday) he appeared at Croydon Crown Court alongside verger Brian Miller, of Owl Close, Selsdon, who is also charged with the same offences.
Ntege, wearing a black coat and his clerical collar, and Miller, wearing a white coat and a red scarf, spoke only to confirm their names and gave no indication of plea.
Judge Nicholas Ainley then adjourned the case until a plea and case management hearing on March 22.
The charges follow an investigation by the UK Border Agency's (UKBA) South London Criminal and Financial Investigation Unit.
Ntege and Miller, who were originally arrested in 2011, are each charged with one offence of conspiracy to facilitate unlawful immigration and 13 charges of assisting illegal entry.
A third person, Gilena Petkova, 50, alleged to have acted as a "fixer" for a number of weddings, as well as allegedly being married in one of the ceremonies herself, is charged with conspiracy and five counts of assisting illegal entry.
Petkova is due to appear before Camberwell Green Magistrates' Court on February 7. Tanya Ossack, representing Miller, indicated that the cases will then be dealt with together.
UKBA officials are not yet certain how many of the marriages, conducted between December 2009 and March 2011, were valid.

Croydon vicar Nathan Ntege and verger Brian Miller appear in court on 'sham marriage' charges


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