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Hyderabad police bust 'contract marriages' racket, arrest 20 people, including eight sheikhs from Oman and Qatar

Hyderabad: The city police have busted a racket of 'contract marriages' of local minor girls with elderly men from Gulf countries and arrested 20 people, including five Omani and three Qatari nationals, police said on Wednesday.

With the busting of the 'contract marriage' (short-term marriage) racket, the police have foiled attempts by eight sheikhs from Oman and Qatar to marry local girls, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South Zone) V Satyanarayana said Wednesday.

 Hyderabad police bust contract marriages racket, arrest 20 people, including eight sheikhs from Oman and Qatar

Hyderabad Police arrested 20 people including 3 Omani and 5 Qatari nationals on charges of human trafficking. Image courtesy: YouTube/ETV Telangana

They also arrested three qazis (people who conduct the marriage), four lodge owners and five brokers/agents who mediated to get such marriages solemnised, he said.

Among the accused Al Mayahi Habib Ali Issa, Al Salhi Talib Humeid Ali, Al Ubaidani Juma Shinoon Sulaiman, Al Salehi Nasser Khalifa Hamed, Al Qasimi Hassan Mazaaul Mohammed (all from Oman), Omer Mohammed Seraj Abdal Rahman, Hamad Jabir O Al-Kuwari, Safeldin Mohamed Mohamednour Salih (all from Qatar) and three qazis, including Mumbai's chief qazi, Farid Ahmed Khan, were held from different parts of the city, police said.

"Two minor girls have been rescued. Preliminary investigation has revealed that through the contract marriages, these people planned to traffic at least 20 minor girls," he said.

Hyderabad Police Commissioner M Mahendar Reddy told reporters they identified 35 brokers and unearthed the network that is spread from Hyderabad to Oman and other Gulf nations.

The police, during the investigation into the marriage of a 16-year-old city girl to a 65-year-old Omani national a few months ago, found that one Omani sheikh, Ahmed Abdullah Amur Al Rahbi, married the minor and allegedly raped her before flying back to his country, Reddy said.

He also paid "huge amounts" to brokers and obtained passport of the minor girl by deceitful means and subsequently trafficked the victim by submitting forged documents in the embassy and to other authorities, Reddy said.

Diplomatic efforts are on to bring back the minor girl along with the absconding accused Rahbi, Reddy said, adding "the police are in touch with the Embassy of Oman in India to rescue the girl."

Farid Khan, Mumbai's chief qazi, allegedly facilitated the trafficking of the teenager to Oman, the city police chief said.

"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.

Reddy said they identified as many as 35 local brokers, 25 of them women, who arranged minor girls from poor families for these marriages.

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.

The Hyderabad police had in the past also busted several contract marriage rackets in the old city area wherein such marriages were performed with help from fabricated documents.

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Updated Date: Sep 21, 2017 08:38:58 IST

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