The Hyderabad police probing the 'child bride racket' raided the office of tainted qazi Farid Ahmed Khan in Mumbai on Friday.
According to reports, the police team seized marriage records of the last 27 years since 1990.
"We are translating the Urdu records seized from the office of Mumbai qazi Khan. Preliminary investigation reveals that minimum 15-20 marriages of Hyderabadi girls were solemnized by him and nikahnamas were issued illegally," DCP, South Zone, V Satyanarayana told the Times of India.
The TOI report adds that the Hyderabad police have taken the assistance of Telangana State Wakf Board and department of minorities welfare in Maharashtra.
“Around 200 marriage certificates were issued by qazi Farid every year and in all the cases men were senior to the girls and were foreign nationals. All men were above 50 years, while the women were below 25 years. We suspect that teenagers were shown as majors by furnishing false affidavits. As per the record, girls as young as 18 years were married off to foreign nationals above 60 years. Surprisingly, these certificates were accepted by the embassies and visas were issued," an investigating official told Deccan Chronicle.
Last month, in a new development in the case of a 16-year-old girl from Hyderabad being married to an Omani sheikh, identified as Ahmed, the police named the parents of the minor as accused.
It was the girl's mother, who had filed a complaint with the Falaknuma police, which had triggered off a massive investigation and busted a nexus of the 'child bride' racket.
The police's latest move comes after a few more photos from the 'nikah' surfaced, which showed the parents of the girl at the location, posing for the photograph.
Last month, the Hyderabad police also rescued 12 underaged girls and busted a major racket with the arrest of 20 accused, including eight Arabs—five Omanis and three Qataris.
Marriages of minor girls from poor Muslim families to elderly Arabs is not new in Hyderabad. The well-organised racket involves middlemen in Hyderabad and those based in Gulf countries, who lure poor families with the promise to pull them out of poverty.
The racket continued to thrive with the connivance of the ‘qazis’ who perform such marriages in violation of all rules.
As part of the crackdown, the police said that they have identified more than 35 brokers in Hyderabad alone.
Four lodge owners and five brokers and three Qazis were also arrested, including Chief Qazi of Mumbai, Farid Ahmed Khan, who was considered the kingpin.