- Ria Maloney, 48, met husband Hosin Ibrahim, 36, through penpal website
- Hosin said family had been wiped out in the Syrian conflict
- Pair married in Greece and Ria hoped to secure a UK visa for her husband
- Illness meant she couldn't save the required money
- Has discovered he had three other lovers in different countries
- Told one woman Ria was terminally ill and would be dead within months
A mother-of-eight has been left heartbroken after discovering her cheating Syrian refugee husband had told another woman that she would be dead soon and they could get married.
Ria Maloney, 48, of Barking, East London, married toyboy Hosin Ibrahim, 36, a year ago in a Greek mosque after being moved by his emotional story of how his parents and sister were killed in a car bomb blast in 2008.
Now Ria believes Hosin cynically targeted other women when she failed to help him secure a UK visa.
Ria Maloney, 48, met her husband Hosin Ibrahim, 36, through a penpal website and flew to Istanbul to meet him for the first time. He was living in Turkey after fleeing war torn Syria
‘I wonder if he was lying to me all along,’ Ria told FEMAIL. ‘He said his family had been wiped out in a car bomb in Syria in 2008, but I don’t even know if that’s true.’
Ria met Hosin after the breakdown of her marriage to her first husband.
She admits the marriage failed after she developed an addiction to online bingo and ran up almost £20,000 debt.
‘I forgot what was important,’ she admits. ‘I was feeling lost after my mum died from Alzheimer’s and I became obsessed.’
Hosin was waiting at the airport with a bunch of flowers and Ria confesses she fell in love the moment she set eyes on him, even though it was the first time they had met in person
The mum-of-eight from Barking, East London believed she'd found true love after her first marriage failed because of her online bingo addiction
After three years, she overcame her addiction by going cold turkey on bingo sites, but her marriage was already beyond repair.
As a distraction, she joined a website for people seeking penpals.
That's where she found Hosin, who was living in Lebanon after fleeing war torn Syria.
‘In his first letter, he told me he had nobody left in the world after his mum, dad and sister were killed,' Ria recalls.
‘My heart went out to him and after the first few letters we started speaking on the phone.
He was 12 years younger than me, but we seemed to have an understanding.
‘He’d been through a lot, but he never asked me for anything. It felt like he was interested in me as a person, not what I could do for him.’
After a few months, she flew to Istanbul, Turkey, to meet Hosin for the first time, as he said Lebanon was too dangerous.
She found him awaiting her at the airport with a bunch of flowers.
‘He kissed me and threw his arms around me and I knew I was in love,’ Ria says.
‘It all just felt so right, even though it was the first time we’d met.'
The couple spent a magical two weeks in Istanbul and Hosin insisted on treating her even though he was struggling.
‘I was worried about the age gap,’ Ria admits. ‘But the things he said reassured me. He told me, “This is true love. Anything that happened before was just pretend.
I was fooling myself. I adore you. I would die for you”.’
Once she was back at home, Hosin sent presents for her youngest daughter Jessica, then seven years old, like bracelets and foreign coins.
He told Ria he loved her like she was his own, and Jessica even started calling him Dad.
On her second visit to Istanbul, eight months later, Hosin proposed.
The couple married in a short ceremony in a mosque in Greece last October.
Their dream was for Hosin to move to Barking, so they could be a proper family with Jessica.
But even as Ria’s husband, he was unable to get a UK visa, as she didn't meet the financial requirements of earning at least £18,600 a year.
While they were trying to figure out a plan, Ria fell ill with carpal tunnel syndrome – a condition causing pain and numbness in the hands.
With both Ria’s hands affected, she had to take sick leave from her job as a care assistant for almost a year while she had an operation on her right hand.
In the meantime, Hosin moved to Vienna where he found accommodation in a hostel.
‘I was anxious to get back to work and start earning money again, so I could try and get him over here,’ Ria says. ‘But after a few months he started going quiet.
‘He used to phone me every single day and text me in the morning to say he missed his beautiful wife.
‘I started to suspect something was going on, but he denied it.’
Earlier this month, just as she was returning to work, Ria received a Facebook message from a woman called Jan who lived in Switzerland.
She told Ria she’d been having a relationship with Hosin and he was planning to visit her in Switzerland. But the worst was yet to come.
Days later, a Swedish woman called Marie got in touch, to say that she too was seeing Hosin.
Hosin used to text Ria every morning and Skype her at least once a day. But she became suspicious when his calls became less frequent
‘She told me she’d seen pictures of us together on his Facebook page. But when she questioned it, he told her not to worry about it and we weren’t together anymore,’ Ria explains.
Then, a Swedish woman called Jan contacted Ria, claiming she was getting in touch on behalf of a friend.
‘She said her friend was seeing Hosin and they were planning to get married in Sweden.
‘The friend had also questioned the photos of me and him together. He’d told her: “That’s my sick wife, but not for long. In three months, she will be gone and we can be married.
‘It was disgusting. What kind of person would pretend their wife is dying?’
Ria sent Hosin an angry message, but he’s not responded and has blocked her on social media.
‘I’m angry, but I’m also heartbroken,’ Ria says. ‘I gave that man three and a half years of my life and he was just using me.
'My daughter looked on him as a father and she called me at work in tears because he's blocked her on Facebook too.
'I want to warn other women not to be taken in by him. People need to know what he's really like.'