Saturday April 8 2006 00:00 IST

LONDON: A court here has ordered confiscation of one million pounds (nearly Rs 7.5 crores) from an NRI couple who arranged scores of bogus weddings to enable Indians enter Britain illegally.

Jaswinder gill, 43, and her husband Darshan, 42, had turned their home into a marriage factory for Indian men charging around Rs 7.5 lakh per wedding and help them skip immigration procedures, the isle-worth crown court was told.

The court on Thursday ordered the confiscation of around Rs 6.4 crore from Jaswinder and nearly Rs one crore from her husband. last year, Jaswinder was jailed for 10 years at the same court for helping people get illegal entry to the UK and perverting the course of Justice.

Darshan, who was seen as subordinate to his wife’s will, was sentenced to six years for conspiring to facilitate illegal entry. The pair duped young British Asian women into flying to India by offering them lucrative contracts modelling bridal wear.

Once there, the women found themselves marrying strangers desperate for a life in Britain. Few dared to refuse. One that did was left in a hotel room with two men and threatened with rape unless she co-operated.

The couple ran their illegal business from their home in Hayes, West London. While wealthy Indians paid the gills up to 14,000 pounds (over Rs 10 lakh) to set up the ceremonies, some of the bogus brides earned less than 1,000 pounds (Rs 75,000).

Fifteen sham marriages were identified but detectives believe there were many more, pointing to over Rs 2.5 crore that was channelled through two of the gills’ bank accounts alone. the court heard that gill earned at least Rs 7.5 lakhs for each marriage she set up, and detectives said the couple may have arranged scores of sham weddings.

They owned two homes and a string of expensive cars. Jaswinder faces a further four years in jail if she fails to pay the fine within 18 months. Darshan faces an extra two years if he does not pay up in the same period.