Cypriot Bride-for-sale Ring Busted
Cypriot police said on Thursday they had busted a crime ring organising marriages of convenience between local women and foreigners seeking residency permits.
Women were getting up to 1,500 Cyprus pounds (1,800 pounds sterling) to tie the knot with a stranger and the matchmaker earning up to 5,000 pounds, police said.
Cyprus, a European Union member since 2004, is clamping down on illegal migration from neighbouring countries, particularly those rimming it in the Middle East.
"We have questioned nine women, who have confessed to marriages of convenience. They were arrested, charged then released," a police spokesman told Reuters.
Two people remained in custody on suspicion of masterminding the scam and 13 other men -- most of them the grooms -- were still being sought. Police could not give their nationalities.