SINGAPORE — A 35-year-old woman has been jailed for arranging a sham marriage between a Singaporean man and a Vietnamese woman.
Nguyen Thi Hong was sentenced to nine months and eight weeks’ jail and fined $10,000 for offences under the Immigration Act, said the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) on Monday (10 June).
Nguyen, a Singaporean of Vietnamese descent, also abetted the man to make false statements to obtain visit passes for his “foreign spouse”. She was arrested on 15 August 2017.
Subsequently, Nguyen filed an appeal against her conviction on 29 November 2018.
The appeal was heard and dismissed on 24 April this year at the High Court and Nguyen began serving her sentence on 8 May 2019.
The facts of the case
Investigations revealed that Nguyen was approached by Duong Thi Anh Kieu, a 34-year-old Vietnamese woman who wanted to remain in Singapore to work.
Nguyen suggested that Duong enter into a marriage of convenience and told her to pay $20,000 for the arrangements.
Nguyen suggested to Soh Sheng Chao, 29, that the Singaporean marry Duong. He would not have to fulfil any marital obligations but would need to sponsor Duong’s visit pass and permanent residency applications.
In return, Soh would be paid a sum of $6,000, and $300 for every successful visit pass extension. An additional sum of $3,000 was promised should the Vietnamese successfully obtain permanent residency.
The “marriage” was solemnised on 9 February 2017. Duong, who did not live with Soh, stayed and worked in a spa operated by Nguyen in order to pay off her fee for the sham marriage arrangements.
The sham couple were later arrested by ICA officers in August 2017.
Duong and Soh were each sentenced to six months and four weeks’ jail on 4 October 2017 and 31 January 2018, respectively, for the offences of entering into a marriage of convenience and making false statements in the visit pass applications.
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