Gay couple jailed in Hong Kong for visa fraud | world | Hindustan Times
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Gay couple jailed in Hong Kong for visa fraud

world Updated: Feb 18, 2009 09:47 IST

A homosexual couple have been jailed over a wedding scam set up to allow a Malaysian man to live permanently in Hong Kong, the city's immigration department said.

Malaysian Derek Chong, aged 29, and Hong Kong resident Andrew Lam, 51, organised for Chong to marry a Hong Kong woman so he could settle in the southern Chinese city, the department said in a statement.

The couple paid the woman 25,000 Hong Kong dollars (3,200 US) to agree to the marriage in 2006, before Lam and Chong moved in together.

Chong then successfully applied for a dependent visa. A year later he contacted his "wife" to help extend his stay and he was granted a further three-year visa in November 2007.

Lam and Chong were on Tuesday both jailed by city magistrates for eight months on a joint conspiracy charge, according to the statement.

Lam's friend Edward Lai, 43, was also jailed for five months for helping the couple find an unnamed middleman, who then provided the woman.

"The department has been very concerned with non-Hong Kong residents obtaining the right to stay in Hong Kong by means of marriage of convenience," a department spokesman said in the statement released late on Tuesday.

An immigration spokesman told AFP on Wednesday that the woman involved in the scam had also been prosecuted, but no verdict had been reached.