Prague, March 26 (CTK) – Czech and German detectives detained five people, three men and one woman from the Czech Republic and one Kosovan man, within a raid on sham marriages on Wednesday, Jaroslav Ibehej, the spokesman for the National Centre against Organised Crime (NCOZ), told CTK on Monday.

The prosecution is being led by Germany. The detained man from Kosovo is in extradition custody. The acts carried out in the Czech Republic are being supervised by the regional state attorney in Liberec, north Bohemia.

The case involved organising sham marriages of socially weak Czech women with Kosovo men.

“Czech women, as EU citizens, were to be administratively employed and housed in Germany and their husbands were then requesting, based on sham marriages made in Kosovo, residence in Germany due to family reunion,” Ibehej said.

The DAP agency wrote last Wednesday that roughly 850 policemen and customs officials searched almost one hundred buildings in seven federal states, especially in the state of Hesse. The police were looking for evidence of organised mediation of the sham marriages.

According to Frankfurt’s state attorney office, the detained suspects have been helping their clients to marry women from EU countries since the end of 2015. The majority of the men were from Kosovo. Some of them were willing to pay thousands of euros to marry women from the Czech Republic, Romania or Bulgaria. Hundreds of sham marriages may have been concluded in this way.

Some of the accused have been supplying illegal workers as representatives of building firms.