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Hyderabad police bust Arab marriage racket, 8 sheikhs held

Hyderabad police bust Arab marriage racket, 8 sheikhs held
Hyderabad City Police busted another marriage racket on Wednesday and arrested 17 persons, including eight sheikhs belonging to Saudi Arab, Oman and Qatar along with four Muslim clerics, on the charges of cheating innocent girls in the name of marriage. Four lodge-owners and five brokers were also arrested by the police in the Old city for their involvement in the racket. (Pics. Faheem)

Hyderabad: Hyderabad Police busted another marriage racket on Wednesday and arrested 17 persons, including eight sheikhs belonging to Saudi Arab, Oman and Qatar along with four Muslim clerics, on the charges of cheating innocent girls in the name of marriage.

The police have arrested 20 persons, including eight foreign nationals, three qazis (people who conduct the marriage), four lodge-owners, five brokers/agents who mediated to get such marriages solemnised, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South Zone) V Satyanarayana said.

The arrested foreigners have been identified as Al Mayahi Habib Ali Issa, Al Salhi Talib Humeid Ali, Al Ubaidani Juma Shinoon Sulaiman, Al Salehi Nasser Khalifa Hamed and Al Qasimi Hassan Mazaaul Mohammed of Oman and Omer Mohammed Seraj Abdal Rahman, Hamad Jabir O Al-Kuwari and Safeldin Mohamed Mohamednour Salih of Qatar.

“We busted the ‘contract marriage’ (short-term marriage) racket and foiled attempts by eight sheikhs from Arab, Oman and Qatar to marry local girls,” he said.

“Two minor girls have been rescued. Preliminary investigation has revealed that through the contract marriages, these people planned to traffic at least 20 women and minor girls,” the senior police officer told PTI.

The Arab Sheikhs had married two minor girls namely Falakhnuma and Chandrayan Gutta on a contract basis, according to police.

Earlier, Fareed Ahmed Khan, the chief qazi of Mumbai, was detained by the police on Monday after the investigation, which revealed that he was involved in providing marriage certificate for the minor girl which helped an Omani sheikh to obtain a visa.

“He prepared a forged ‘nikahnama’ (marriage contract) to show the marriage was performed in Mumbai and provided a forged marriage certificate with the stamping of the Omani embassy,” he said.

“The victims were not only sexually exploited by the elderly married sheikhs but also by other men and later given divorce,” the Hyderabad Police chief said.

The police have also identified 35 local brokers including 25 women, who help sheikhs select the girls and perform the marriages with the connivance of qazis.

The local brokers/agents would exhibit the girls to the sheikhs in upscale and star hotels. The foreigners would also visit the houses of the girls to select them for marriage,” the police commissioner added.

The brokers’ main job was to identify poor families which were prepared to give away their daughters for marriage in lieu of money without bothering about the age of the prospective bridegroom, the senior police official said.

“The parents of such girls were paid around Rs 1 lakh, while the sheikhs spent between Rs 5 to Rs 10 lakh for paying middlemen, qazis and procuring fake documents,” he added.

Several marriage rackets have been busted in the past by the police in Hyderabad which reportedly persuades girl’s parents to get them married to sheikhs on a contractual basis by offering money.

With agencies inputs