'Sheikh marriage' trafficking ring busted in Hyderabad, 20 held

'Sheikh marriage' racket: 8 Arab nationals, Mumbai chief Qazi arrested

Indian police bust global marriage racket in Hyderabad city, arrest 17 people

Those arrested include five Omani nationals, three Qataris, three Qazi (marriage registrar), five local brokers and four lodge owners. Of the Arabs arrested, five are Omani nationals and three Qatari.

The arrested are Al-Ayahi Habib Al Issa, Al-Salhi Tali Humeid Ali, Al- Ubaidani Juma Shinoon Sulaiman, Al-Salehi Naseer Khalifa Hamed, Al-Qasimi Hassan Mazaaul Mohammed, Al-Sheydi Sulaiman Khamis Salim, Al Sheyadi Mohammed Sulaiman Khamis and Al Sheyadi Mohammed Khalfan Mohammed, all Omani nationals.

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Farid Khan, Mumbais chief qazi, allegedly facilitated the trafficking of the teenager to Oman, the city police chief said. From one of these hotels, a sheikh, who was ready to marry a 15-year-old girl, was caught. Fifteen brokers are based in the Gulf, identifying the sheikhs interested in marriage. The police focused on the Old City after the recent incident of a fake Omani sheikh marrying a minor, who later begged her parents to rescue her.

This came after the police were investigating cases of child marriages and contract marriages in the old city and found out about the worldwide human trafficking circle. "All of them were arrested", said Police Commissioner M Mahender Reddy. The Shaikh made it clear to the police that he would free her only after he gets back his Rs 5 lakh allegedly paid to the girl's family. During the probe, it was found that these illegal marriages with Shiekhs are widespread with a strong network of brokers, hotel managements and qazis. "After reaching the new country the women end up getting exploited at the hands of several others", police chief said while citing the statements of a few victims.

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"A total of 17 people, including eight sheikhs from the Gulf countries of Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar, and four Indian Muslim clerics, were nabbed from various parts of Hyderabad city for alluring young Indian girls into marrying middle-aged and aged Arabs", a police official said. He added that the chief Qazi created fake marriage certificate (nikahnama) as if the marriage has been solemnised in Mumbai and enabled the sheikh to take the girl out of the country. Mumbai's Assistant (Nayab) Qazi Munawwar Ali was also arrested on charge of helping the chief Qazi in preparing the forged documents. "Most of the money would be taken by the brokers and Qazi".

Briefing the media on Wednesday, Reddy said numerous brokers from Gulf married local girls to penetrate deep into the local community.

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