28 arrested over bogus marriages

28 arrested over bogus marriages

Police including Immigration Bureau chief Pol Lt Gen Surachate 'Big Joke' Hakparn (second right) interrogate an Indian man accused of brokering fake marriages to Thai women to allow Indians to remain illegally in Thailand. (Photo by Varuth Hirunyatheb)
Police including Immigration Bureau chief Pol Lt Gen Surachate 'Big Joke' Hakparn (second right) interrogate an Indian man accused of brokering fake marriages to Thai women to allow Indians to remain illegally in Thailand. (Photo by Varuth Hirunyatheb)

Police have rounded up 28 people in a crackdown on a marriage scam for Indian nationals seeking to stay in the country on a long-term basis.

Of the suspects, 27 are Thai women who were allegedly paid 8,000-10,000 baht to marry Indian men and the other is a 35-year-old Thai-Indian man who allegedly acted as a marriage broker and prepared documents for the marriages.

Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn, chief of the Immigration Bureau, said officials have run checks on more than 8,000 Indian nationals staying in the country and have revoked visas for 127 of them.

Eleven Indian men have been arrested and charged with hiring Thai women for marriage, he said. Based on early reports, several of the Indian nationals were found to have initially entered the country on tourist visas.

Pol Lt Gen Surachate, also deputy director of Thailand's Action Taskforce for Information Technology Crime (Tactics), has called on Thai women not to take part in the scam which is considered a threat to national security.

He said Tactics and the Immigration Bureau will investigate further.

"I'm warning women who get married for money with foreigners, who then use the marriage certificates to circumvent rules, that they will be arrested and charged," he said.

According to Pol Lt Gen Surachate, the investigation into the fake marriages found that some Thai women were married to three foreigners and that one woman who applied for a marriage licence was 70 years old.

The ruse came to light in May last year when police looked into complaints lodged by Thai women in Saraburi's Wang Muang district who found their names on marriage certificates despite never having been married.


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