Immigration detectives have sounded a warning to people traffickers after bringing a sham marriage fugitive back to face justice in Lancashire.
Pakistan national Nasar Khan was jailed for three years by a judge in Preston after being extradited back to Britain from Germany where he had been on the run.
The 26-year-old pleaded guilty to conspiring to facilitate a breach of immigration law after a plot to lure a 19-year-old Hungarian woman into the UK and “sell” her for marriage. The city’s crown court was told Khan’s role in the operation was as “fixer” in the £3,500 deal to marry her off to another Pakistani man who wanted to stay in Britain.
Det Sgt Mark Jacobs, of Home Office Immigration Enforcement Criminal Investigations, said: “Khan’s cowardly attempt to evade justice failed. Working with international law enforcement colleagues, we were able to locate him in Germany and secure his return to the UK.
“This was an appalling case where a vulnerable woman was brought to the UK on false pretences and held against her will for several weeks. It was the criminals’ intention for her to marry a Pakistani man to help him extend his stay in the UK.
“It should serve as a warning to other criminals who think they can profit from the evil trade of people trafficking. Our specialist crime teams have the skills, expertise and resources to bring you to justice.”
Khan fled the country after fellow members of a trafficking gang were arrested. Ringleader Bartolomej Sivak, 58, from Manchester was jailed for four years and two months in March, while accomplice Rana Yousaf, 27, was sent to prison for 20 months.
The gang lured the 19-year-old with the promise of a job as a babysitter in London. She was trafficked through Slovakia, Germany and France and eventually smuggled into a house in Cunliffe Street, Chorley to be with her would-be husband. She was threatened and intimidated during her three-week ordeal, but she was not physically harmed.
Khan, of Albert Road, Levenshulme, Manchester was arrested at Heathrow Airport after being flown back under escort from Frankfurt.