Four jailed over sham marriage to prolong Vietnamese woman’s stay

Cheong Mun Siong (left) and Tran Thi Cam Nhung were jailed for arranging a marriage of convenience between a Singaporean man and a Vietnamese woman. (Photos: Immigration and Checkpoints Authority)
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SINGAPORE: Vietnam national Nguyen Thi Mong Tuyen, 36, wanted to stay and work in Singapore, so her friend and her friend’s husband helped her arrange for a marriage of convenience to a Singaporean man, 49-year-old Lee Poh Chiew. 

When the sham marriage came to light, however, all four were arrested and sentenced to jail.

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In a news release on Monday (Apr 24), the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said that Nguyen approached her friend Tran Thi Cam Nhung in 2014 and told her that she wanted to remain and work in Singapore.

Tran, a 31-year-old Vietnamese woman, told Nguyen that her Singaporean husband Cheong Mun Siong, 39, knew a friend, Lee, who could enter into a marriage of convenience with her and sponsor her visit pass application so she could prolong her stay.

Nguyen agreed to pay Cheong S$8,000 in three cash instalments for the arrangement.

On Nov 21, 2014, Lee and Nguyen registered their “marriage” with Cheong as one of the witnesses. Nguyen paid Lee a lump sum of S$1,100 as well as S$400 monthly after the marriage to act as the local sponsor for her visit pass application.

After discovering the sham marriage, ICA officers arrested the couple on Apr 27, 2015. They were sentenced to six months’ imprisonment each on May 18, 2015 for entering into a marriage of convenience.

Cheong and Tran were arrested on Jan 6, 2016 and were convicted of arranging a marriage of convenience on Apr 17 this year. Cheong was sentenced to seven months’ imprisonment and fined S$8,000 in default of four weeks’ imprisonment, while Tran was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment.

ICA said in the news release that it takes a serious view of individuals who engage in or arrange marriages of convenience to obtain immigration facilities in Singapore.

Those found guilty of such offences face a fine of up to S$10,000, up to 10 years in jail, or both.

-CNA/mz

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