Immigration cracks down on fake marriage scheme

NINE Queensland properties and several bank accounts were frozen and an Oxley home searched as part of a crackdown on a fake weddings scheme in Brisbane on Tuesday.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship, along with the Australian Federal Police ran the operation, looking into a scheme that arranged fake marriages.

A DIAC spokesman said the scheme would arrange the fake marriages between Indian men and Australian women, to get the Indian men into the country under spouse visa applications.

It is understood documents and computer equipment were taken from a home in Oxley for "further examination" on Tuesday.

"DIAC treats allegations of immigration fraud seriously, and activities that undermine the integrity of the visa regime will not be tolerated by Australian authorities," the DIAC spokesman said.

"The operation was part of an ongoing investigation into allegations that a Queensland man and his wife, among others, allegedly operated a sophisticated scheme to arrange fraudulent weddings between Indian men and Australian women.

"The Australian women were allegedly paid money by the organisers of the scheme and the Indian men lodged visa applications to stay in Australia using the fraudulent marriages as the basis of their claims."

The department estimated up to 50 visa applications were lodged through the sham marriage scam, but no visas have yet been cancelled in relation to the ongoing investigation.

Topics:  immigration marriage police

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