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.











Charles Drinnan successful in the Court of Appeal
Mr. Drinnan, acting for the Appellant, renewed an application to the full Court for leave to appeal sentence after it was refused by the Single Judge.

Read more

John Ojakovoh secures convictions on all counts in international cyber fraud trial at Reading Crown Court
John Ojakovoh prosecuted in a trial at Reading Crown Court arising from a US-UK investigation after US public sector pensioner members of Orange County Employees Retirement System (OCERS) were the victims of fraudulent attempts to divert pensions totalling the equivalent of some £15,000 per month in a scam which cost OCERS nearly £200,000 to put right.

Read more

Operation Rockport : R –v- Draga & Ors, Wood Green Crown Court
John Clifford secures convictions of three Defendants operating within an Albanian Organised Criminal Network involved in people smuggling, fraudulent documentation

Read more

Charles Drinnan succeeds for the Isle of Wight Council, the Respondent in an Appeal against an enforcement notice under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
The Appellant appealed against an enforcement notice served by the Council over numerous dangerous fire safety issues in four properties on the Island – an important issue in the aftermath of the Grenfell fire

Read more

Laura Paisley joins 9KBW
9 KBW is delighted to welcome Laura Paisley as our latest tenant, following the successful completion of her pupillage. Laura specialises in criminal and regulatory law and her full profile will be uploaded shortly.

Read more