Human traffickers 'sold' pregnant woman into sham marriage

Anonymous woman

Thirteen people across Greater Manchester have been arrested after a pregnant woman was tricked into visiting the UK and 'sold' into a sham marriage.

Police say the 20-year-old victim was 25 weeks pregnant, and had been told she would be visiting her sister who already lives in England.

Instead, she was taken to Rochdale and married under Sharia law to a man thought to have paid £15,000 for her with the aim of avoiding deportation. Detectives investigating an organised crime group suspected of bringing women into Greater Manchester from Eastern Europe say a woman typically costs £3,000 but the price increases if they have a child with their new ‘husband’.

The case came to light when the victim went to A&E to try to get an abortion but was refused because she was too far into the pregnancy. The victim was then taken into care and an investigation into the trafficking gang began.

Yesterday morning, police raided a number of addresses in Rochdale, Failsworth and Cheetham Hill. Ten men and three women aged between 24 and 57 were arrested on suspicion of various trafficking offences.