Hong Kong resident jailed for 13 months over bogus marriages

5 November 2012

A male Hong Kong resident who entered into bogus marriages with a Mainland resident and a Thai former domestic helper was convicted of two counts of conspiracy to defraud and given a sentence of 13 months' imprisonment by Sha Tin Magistrates' Court today (November 5).

The court heard that the 44-year-old male defendant admitted that under arrangements made by middlemen he had entered into bogus marriages with a Mainland resident in 1997 and a Thai former domestic helper in 2002, so as to assist them in settling in Hong Kong. The defendant received $3,000 and $1,000 respectively as monetary reward.

"The Immigration Department is very concerned about non-Hong Kong residents staying in Hong Kong by means of a marriage of convenience," a department spokesman said. "A special task force has been set up to gather intelligence through various avenues and a thorough investigation will be conducted once evidence comes to light. If there is enough evidence, the department will prosecute offenders.

"For people who have obtained their residence in Hong Kong by fraudulent means, their Hong Kong identity card and residence status will be declared invalid according to the laws of Hong Kong. They will also be subject to removal back to their place of origin," the spokesman said.

Under the laws of Hong Kong, anyone who commits the offence of conspiracy to defraud is liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, the maximum penalty is imprisonment for 14 years.