'Marriage syndicate smashed'

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 June, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 June, 1999, 12:00am

A syndicate suspected of using documents illegally obtained in the SAR to set up more than 300 bogus marriages on the mainland has been uncovered.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption arrested 14 people, including a Marine Police constable and his wife, in connection with the alleged scam, which was said to have allowed mainlanders to move to the territory.

The police officer, 25, and his wife, 23, have been charged with 15 counts of perverting the course of justice in an unspecified related investigation, the ICAC said.

They are to appear in South Kowloon Court this morning. Of the 12 others arrested, four are being detained and the rest have been freed on bail.

The alleged scam is said to have involved corrupt solicitors' clerks who falsified affidavits and other documents needed to get a wedding licence on the mainland.

The licences were then said to have been used by mainlanders to dupe SAR Immigration into allowing them into the territory 'for family reunion purposes'. More than 300 marriages had been arranged over the past three years.