Sheffield accused denies arranging sham marriages

Masoud Rasab
Masoud Rasab
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A man alleged to have arranged fraudulent marriages as part of an immigration scam told a jury two weddings were ‘nothing to do with him’.

Masoud Rasab was giving evidence in his defence at Sheffield Crown Court after it was alleged he was the ringleader of a plot in which brides were paid cash to marry strangers.

He told the court he knew co-accused Sabrina Khan, who is alleged to have married Umair Hussain to allow him to remain in the country, because she worked in his Barnsley furniture shop.

Rasab said he met fellow defendant Alisha Mahmood, a friend of Khan’s, at Khan’s flat, when he went there to have a shower after splitting with his wife and sleeping in his shop.

He told the court he saw Khan meet the man she married a month later at his store but did not get involved.

Rasab was asked by Richard Canning, defending Alisha Mahmood, about his connection to two marriages.

He said: “There are two sham marriages in this case which are uncontested. Yasir Awan married Keeley Cox for money and Alisha Mahmood married Muhammad Ishaque for money.

“So you have no idea how Yasir got introduced to Alisha and then Keeley?”

“I have no idea,” Rasab, aged 38, of Firth Park Road, Firth Park, said.

“So as far as you are concerned, these are two completely incidental, separate sham marriages, having nothing to do with you?”

“No, nothing to do with me,” Rasab said, adding: “Look at Sabrina’s phone. There’s no messages, there’s nothing on there about any marriages.”

During his evidence, Rasab was asked by Judge Michael Murphy QC not to speak over him.

Judge Murphy said: “I won’t have you speaking over me. Calm down. The question was, did you introduce these girls to this man? And the answer is definitely not?

“Yes. Definitely not,” said Rasab.

The trial continues.