Indian-origin man jailed for UK sham marriage

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Dec 24, 2013 20:41 IST

An Indian origin man was among a gang of five people jailed for trafficking women into the UK, forcing them into prostitution and forcing one of them into a sham marriage to avoid immigration restrictions.

Ramesh Mali, 31, was sentenced at the Wood Green Crown Court to two-and-a-half years after being convicted of being part of a conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration into the UK.

Other members of the gang jailed were Sandor Jonas, Anita Viktoria Maule, Victor Maule and Chika Ike Michael.

Scotland Yard said that the police were contacted earlier this year by a woman who stated that she had been trafficked into the UK from Hungary in March 2010 by an organised criminal network.

Following inquiries by the police’s Human Trafficking Unit, those individuals were identified as Jonas, his girlfriend Anita Maule and her brother Victor.

The victim was being forced to work as a prostitute at a massage parlour in London without being paid and being regularly beaten by Sandor in an attempt to keep her under his control.

As part of her exploitation she was also forced into a sham marriage with Mali, and made to open a business and bank accounts in her name. Solicitor Ike-Michael assisted in arranging the sham marriage on behalf of the group.

British police officers travelled to Hungary and identified a second victim of the gang who had been trafficked into the UK in 2005 and held until 2010.

Detective constable Natalia Barrett said, "The defendants were part of a highly organised criminal network who deliberately targeted vulnerable young women in the hope they would be too scared to contact police, or if they did, would not be believed."

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