Bogus marriage syndicate smashed by Immigration Department

24 June 2013

The Immigration Department has smashed a syndicate arranging cross-boundary bogus marriages.

An Immigration Department spokesman said today (June 24) that the Immigration Department has been very concerned about non-Hong Kong residents obtaining residency by means of contracting bogus marriages with Hong Kong residents. In 2008, a syndicate was identified to have arranged for Hong Kong residents to contract bogus marriages with Mainlanders. During investigation, a mastermind and a core member were identified. At the dwelling of the mastermind, a pile of documents related to the bogus marriage of more than 20 Hong Kong residents was found. The mastermind was convicted of conspiracy to defraud the Immigration Department at the District Court this morning and she was sentenced to 48 months of imprisonment. The core syndicate member's case will be sentenced on July 4 at the District Court.

"During the operation, one mastermind and one core member were arrested. Fifteen Hong Kong residents involved in the scam were convicted of conspiracy to defraud and aiding and abetting others in making false representation to immigration officers. In addition, relevant Mainland authorities have been notified about the cases of the Mainlanders," the spokesman added.

"The Immigration Department will continue to spare no effort in combating bogus marriages and other related illicit activities. For people who have obtained their residence in Hong Kong by fraudulent means, their Hong Kong identity card and residence status will be invalidated 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 Hong Kong, it is an offence to make false representation to immigration officers. Offenders are liable to prosecution and to a maximum fine of $150,000 and imprisonment for 14 years. Aiders and abettors are also liable to prosecution and the same penalties.

Anyone who commits the offence of conspiracy to defraud is liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, the maximum penalty is imprisonment for 14 years.