We use cookies to improve our site and your experience. By continuing to browse on this website you accept the use of cookies.

Shabeena Azhar, led Junior for the Crown, secures multiple convictions in sham marriage case at Croydon Crown Court



Ms Azhar, Joint Head of Chambers, led by Jonathan Polnay for the Crown,  prosecuted an all-female gang and an absent male, who were found guilty of conspiring to assist unlawful immigration. The gang flew in brides from Lithuania to marry men from the Indian Subcontinent and West Africa under the guise of a ‘legitimate international dating agency’ to make an estimated £315,000. 26 sham marriages were identified.

Ringleaders Lina Kezelyte, 33, and Mohemmed Jemaldeen, 33, who were sentenced to four and a half and four years in prison respectively, ran the enterprise which was described as a ‘sophisticated’ and a ‘cruel operation, giving false hope to those who were not entitled to have it’.

Valentina Kezeliene, 53, the mother of Lina Kezelyte, laundered money and booked the flights - she received two and a half years in prison. The three others helped move the money and attended and helped set up the sham weddings. 

Further information can be found below and at many media websites in this important case.











Jonathan Mole successfully Prosecutes high level County Lines drug dealer who exploited teenagers – sentenced to 9 and a Half Years.
Jonathan Mole was instructed to prosecute in this substantial operation, following a complex joint investigation between the County Line and Gangs team within Kent Police and the Operation Orochi team at the Metropolitan Police.

Read more

9 KBW Bill Gatward successfully prosecutes masseur accused of sexual assault.
A Brighton masseur who told one of his clients she “would be surprised what goes on within these four walls” after he sexually assaulted her is now facing a lengthy prison sentence.

Read more

Surinder Singh Gohlan joins 9 KBW.
Surinder Singh Gohlan joins 9 KBW. 9 KBW is delighted to announce that Surinder Singh Gohlan has joined the 9 KBW team from July 1st 2021. Surinder specialises in defence crime at all levels and we are very pleased to welcome him on board.

Read more

Hospital Managers Power of Discharge
Chambers are pleased to announce that Robyn Murdo-Smith will be appointed an Associate Hospital Manager with North East London NHS Foundation Trust on 1st July 2021.

Read more

High Court upholds decision to refuse to extradite to Turkey on multiple grounds
On 21 June 2021 Lord Justice Dingemans and Mr Justice Johnson handed down a judgment dismissing Turkey’s appeal against District Judge Zani’s refusal to extradite a Kurdish activist. The District Judge had refused the request on the basis there would be no fair trial, the requested person would be prejudiced because of his beliefs, and he would be likely to suffer cruel and inhuman treatment because of Turkey’s policy of prolonged solitary confinement for persons they regard as “terrorists”.

Read more