Hyderabad Old City greater chief Qazi Rafia conducted 1000 contract marriages in the guise of a religious head. He was approached by the Oman sheikhs for brides and Rafia collected a hefty amount from the sheikhs and found them wives, usually minor Muslim girls.

Rafia had agents in the city, who cornered poor and beautiful girls’ fathers. They paid them Rs 70,000 for the girl who then was married off to the old sheikh and then taken away to his country.

 According to News 18, Hyderabad city police have arrested five Omani and three Qatar nationals along with three Qazis, including a chief Qazi of Mumbai Farid Ahmed Khan who is accused of preparing forged Nikhanama and marriage certificates.

Deputy Commissioner of Police V Satyanarayana said that the Qazi collected Rs 3 to 10 lakh from the sheikh, gave Rs 70,000 to the father of the bride, Rs 2,50,000 to the agents and the rest was pocketed by theQazi. Rafia conducted 1000 marriages in his five years of service.

The police have identified 35 brokers, mostly women and unearthed a network spread from Hyderabad to Gulf countries. The police have also opened a suspect sheet against 48 individuals including local brokers, lodge owners and Qazis.

In order to prevent these crimes, police issued advisories to the Minority Welfare Department, asking them to publish guidelines for foreign nationals who wish to get married in Hyderabad.