SINGAPORE: A 46-year-old man and a 34-year-old woman were on Thursday (Mar 11) sentenced to jail for committing offences linked to a marriage of convenience.
Pang Beng Lee was sentenced to one year and two weeks’ jail, while Chinese national Qin Fuxing was sentenced to 10 months and two weeks, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said in a news release.
Pang was found to have arranged a marriage of convenience between his late elder brother Pang Beng Hai and Qin, whom he had met in 2013 while she was living and working in Malaysia.
“They could not register their marriage as Beng Lee was already married with children then,” ICA said.
The younger Pang, who knew that his brother needed a flat to stay after transferring the ownership of his flat to his ex-wife, suggested that he marry Qin so they could apply for subsidised housing by virtue of the marriage.
This would also allow him to continue being with Qin, ICA added. Beng Hai and Qin subsequently had the marriage solemnised on Sep 11, 2017, with Beng Lee as the witness.
“Qin managed to extend her stay in Singapore several times, with Beng Hai acting as her sponsor,” ICA said. “Beng Lee had also abetted Beng Hai and Qin to make false statements by declaring that ‘the couple’ were staying together at the same residential address stated in Qin’s Visit Pass applications.”
All three were arrested on May 31, 2018 at three different residential addresses in Jurong, Hougang and Woodlands for committing marriage of convenience and false statement offences.
Charges against Beng Hai for his involvement in the offences were abated as he died in April last year.
“ICA takes a serious view of individuals trying to circumvent our system by engaging in or arranging/assisting to arrange MOCs to obtain immigration facilities in Singapore,” the authority said.
“ICA will continue to take firm enforcement action against errant couples and middlemen. We will spare no effort in investigating such cases, and will pursue every available lead.”
For committing offences related to a marriage of convenience, Pang and Qin could have been fined up to S$10,000 or jailed for a term of up to 10 years, or both. For making false statements to obtain immigration facilities, they could have been fined up to S$4,000, or jailed up to a year, or both.