A 54-year-old Vietnamese woman was caught by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) for arranging a marriage-of-convenience between her 31-year-old daughter and a 51-year-old Singaporean man.
Luong Thi My Hang, 54, was sentenced to six months’ jail after paying a third party to facilitate the sham marriage so that her daughter, Vuong Thi My Tuyen, 31, could obtain a visit pass to find employment in Singapore.
She pleaded guilty to a charge related to arranging a marriage with the intention of obtaining an immigration advantage for Vuong.
Vuong was sentenced to six months’ jail.
Her husband, Hoo Khee Hwa, was also sentenced to six months’ jail and fined an additional S$8,000.
According to court documents seen by Mothership, sometime in 2016, Luong got acquainted with Le Thuy Trieu, a Vietnamese woman.
Luong told Le that she wanted her daughter to prolong her stay in Singapore to seek employment.
Le suggested to her the idea of entering into a marriage-of-convenience with a Singaporean man, Hoo Kee Hwa.
The purpose of the marriage was to obtain an immigration advantage for Vuong in the form of a visit pass.
Agreeable to the idea, Luong then proposed the idea to her daughter, who was also agreeable with it.
The mother then made cash payments of about S$14,000 to S$16,000 to Le in order to carry out the marriage.
Hoo and Vuong solemnised their marriage on Aug. 19, 2016 at Inspired by Luv Cafe at 7 Canning Rise, where the Registry of Marriages is located. Luong acted as one of the marriage witnesses.
The trio were arrested at the ICA building on Feb. 9, 2023. It was unclear how ICA knew of the marriage-of-convenience.
Luong’s lawyer, Krinesh B Rengarajoo from LYTAG Law LLP stated that Luong’s actions were motivated by an “altruistic reason” and mentioned that she was acting on motherly concern to find a better life for her daughter, Today reported.
However, District Judge Wong Li Tien claimed that Luong was the one who instigated the sham marriage in the first place.
Judge Wong maintained that such sham marriages aim to deceive the ICA and Registry Of Marriage, and may create a tendency for more individuals with “no real ties to Singapore” to partake in fake marriages.
This may potentially lead to the introduction of more checks and scrutiny during marriage application processing.
“The ICA takes a serious view of individuals trying to circumvent our system by engaging in, arranging or assisting to arrange marriage-of-convenience to obtain immigration facilities in Singapore,” an ICA spokesperson said.
Anyone who arranges or otherwise assists in arranging a marriage with the intention of assisting one of the parties to the marriage to obtain an immigration advantage can face up to 10 years imprisonment, a fine of up to S$10,000, or both.
Top photo via IStock and Unsplash