Two Singaporeans Jailed For Arranging Marriage of Convenience

Two 38-year-old male Singaporeans, Choo Yong Sheng and Yap Junlian Eddie, were convicted and sentenced for arranging a marriage of convenience (MOC) between a male Singaporean and a female People’s Republic of China (PRC) national.

Choo was sentenced to 32 weeks’ imprisonment and a fine of S$3,000 in default 12 days’ imprisonment, while Yap was sentenced to 32 weeks’ imprisonment and a fine of S$2,000 in default eight days’ imprisonment, for their offences under the Immigration Act. In addition, Choo was sentenced to another 12 weeks’ imprisonment for voluntarily causing hurt to Police officers in a case of dispute unrelated to the MOC. This amounts to a total of 44 weeks’ imprisonment and a fine of S$3,000 in default 12 days’ imprisonment for Choo.

Investigations revealed that Choo was introduced to a 42-year-old female PRC national, Zhang Fengyu, sometime in late 2015. Zhang was a Long-Term Visit Pass (LTVP) holder under the “Study Mama” scheme at that time. She told Choo that she wanted to remain in Singapore after her son completed his education. Choo then offered to help Zhang prolong her stay in Singapore by arranging for her to enter into a sham marriage with a Singaporean man. Choo asked Zhang for a payment of S$18,000 in return for the sham marriage arrangements, and received a deposit of $3,000 from Zhang.

In the meantime, Yap recruited a 44-year-old male Singaporean, Ng Wei Keong Jason, to enter into a sham marriage with Zhang, promising him a reward of S$8,000. After the “couple” solemnised their marriage on 11 July 2016, Zhang paid Yap S$10,000 and said that she would pay the balance of S$5,000 only after she successfully obtained a LTVP under the sponsorship of her “Singaporean spouse”.

Officers from the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) arrested the “couple” on 16 March 2017 for entering into a MOC. Ng was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment on 1 August 2017, while Zhang was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment on 2 March 2018. On 26 July 2018 and 30 January 2019, ICA officers arrested Yap and Choo respectively for arranging the MOC.

ICA takes a serious view of individuals trying to circumvent our system by engaging in or arranging/assisting to arrange MOCs to obtain immigration facilities in Singapore. The penalties for the offence are a fine not exceeding S$10,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years, or both.