A YEAR after his release from prison, illegal immigrant and convicted sham marriage fraudster Vladymyr Buchak has still not been deported.
In 2010, Buchak was found guilty of playing a part in the largest sham marriage case ever brought to court in the UK.
Between 2005 and 2009, 360 bogus marriages went ahead at St Peter’s Church, off Bohemia Road.
The scam involved paying Eastern European women up to £3,000 to marry African men, mainly from Nigeria, who would then use the marriage to apply for permission to stay in the country.
Two other St Leonards men, the Reverend Alex Brown, who performed the services, and Michael Adelasoye, were also sentenced to four years in prison for their part in the scam, which saw up to eight sham weddings take place every day.
Adelasoye, was a solicitor and pastor at Ark of Hope, Marine Court, and used his legal knowledge to operate the scam and supplied the African clients.
After being found guilty in July 2010, Buchak was sentenced to four years in prison, and the judge recommended that afterwards he be deported.
However, when released on July 1 last year, the Ukrainian, who has lived illegally in the UK since 2004, and had approached the European women using his Estonian alter ego Kaido Maesalu, was released on bail, and returned to St Leonards.
It is believed that Buchak has a young son.
Amber Rudd, MP for Hastings and Rye, has long been calling for Buchak’s deportation, and on June 21 wrote to the Home Secretary and the UK Border Agency (UKBA) asking them to look into the situation.
She said: “I am deeply concerned that this man has still not been deported and is living in the local area. I have written to the Home Secretary and the UKBA to ask for an immediate explanation.”
A hearing was scheduled to take place at Taylor House Asylum and Immigration Tribunal on May 25, which was an appeal lodged by Buchak against a deportation order.
However this hearing did not go ahead, and the reasons for this have not been made public.
A UK Border Agency spokesperson said: “Legal matters have delayed deportation but we continue to pursue the removal of this convicted criminal. Last year we deported over 4,500 foreign national offenders.”