SINGAPORE — Two Singaporean men have been jailed and fined for arranging a marriage of convenience between a Singaporean man and a Chinese national.
Choo Yong Sheng and Yap Junlian Eddie, both 38, were convicted and sentenced on 4 August and 12 August respectively for offences under the Immigration Act, said the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) in a news release on Wednesday (19 August).
Choo was jailed 32 weeks and fined $3,000 while Yap was jailed 32 weeks and fined $2,000. For voluntarily causing hurt to police officers in an unrelated case, Choo was also jailed an additional 12 weeks and fined $3,000.
Woman under ‘Study Mama’ scheme
According to ICA, Choo was introduced to 42-year-old Zhang Fengyu sometime in late 2015. At the time, Zhang was a Long-Term Visit Pass (LTVP) holder under the “Study Mama” scheme, which allows for the mother or grandmother of a student studying in Singapore to apply for an LTVP to join them here.
Choo told Zhang that he could help fulfil her wish of staying on in Singapore after her son completed his education by arranging a sham marriage for her to a Singaporean man. The arrangements would cost Zhang $18,000, for which Choo received a $3,000 deposit from Zhang.
Meanwhile, Yap recruited a 44-year-old Singaporean man, Ng We Keong Jason, for the sham marriage. Ng was promised $8,000 as a reward for his participation in the scheme.
The couple’s marriage was solemnised on 11 July 2016, after which Zhang paid Yap $10,000. She promised to pay the remaining $5,000 once she successfully obtained an LTVP under Ng’s sponsorship.
ICA officers arrested the couple on 16 March 2017 for entering into a marriage of convenience. Ng was jailed six months in August 2017, while Zhang was jailed three months in March 2018.
Yap and Choo were arrested for their roles in the sham marriage on 26 July 2018 and 30 January 2018, respectively. The penalty for engaging in or assisting in arranging a marriage of convenience is up to 10 years’ jail, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
Those who have knowledge of possible marriages of convenience or any other immigration-related offences can make a report with ICA via the authority’s “Reporting of Immigration Offenders” online form.
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