Immigration Department combats sham marriages
The Immigration Department deployed an officer in disguise to meet sham marriage organizing agents. The operation was known as “Snare 1205”. Five suspects were arrested on 6 December 2017, including the organization’s group leader, 3 members and a women from Mainland China who was suspected of participating in a sham marriage.
The suspects were aged between 26 and 54, four of whom were Hong Kong residents. Upon further investigation, the Immigration’s staff seized the related documents and mobile phones at the suspects’ premises. More people might have been involved and may be arrested later on.
Cases of non-Hong Kong residents and Hong Kong residents entering into a sham marriage have always been under the scrutiny of the Immigration Department. Such illegal organizations or agents will advertise through different social platforms with the aim to lure people to join their illegal activities.
According to the current laws in Hong Kong:
1. Anyone who provides false information to Immigration officers is guilty of an offence with a maximum penalty of HK$150,000 and 14 years imprisonment.
2. It is also an offence to knowingly and willfully make a false oath or declaration for the purpose of procuring a marriage. The maximum penalty for the offence is up to 7 years imprisonment and a fine.
3. Anyone who participates in a conspiracy to defraud is also liable for an offence with a maximum imprisonment of 14 years.