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Woman promised $30,000 to marry Indian man in alleged visa scam



Sydney, May 13 (IANS) An Australian woman was promised A$30,000 (around $24,000) to enter into a marriage scam with an Indian man, an Australian court was told on Tuesday.

The prosecution alleges migration Indian agent Chetan Mohanlal Mashru and his partner and celebrant Divya Krishne Gowda were involved in the marriage racket, Australian ABC reported.

They were both accused of 17 counts of arranging fake marriages of Australian women with Indian men for visas and money in 2012.

Josephine Haig told Brisbane’s Magistrates Court in the Australian state of Queensland she sought out Mashru to take part, after hearing about the scheme through friends and was offered A$30,000 for her involvement and that she also received A$1,000 for referring a friend.

Haig testified she cooperated with immigration department investigators and believed she was protected from prosecution.

Angelina Thompson told the court she could not remember when she was paid to marry an Indian man so he could get a spouse visa to stay in Australia. She had met the Indian through friends.

Thompson said she received A$6,000 for the fake marriage but was promised more.

Pargat Singh and Amrit Singh also testified that they heard from friends about the scheme and sought out Mashru to take part and got married.

Meanwhile, Indian 457 visa holder Gupreet Singh, 30, also testified on Tuesday, telling the court he sought out the migration agent so he could stay in Australia.

Singh testified he married an Australian woman the first time he met her.

He borrowed money from friends and his parents to pay more than A$25,000 to the migration agent.

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