Hong Kong woman 'tricked' into marrying a complete stranger
A young Hong Kong-based woman claims that she has been tricked into marrying a complete stranger in mainland China two months ago. The 21-year-old said she had applied for make-up artist apprenticeship in May, during which she was asked to undergo the wedding planner training. She was asked to wed a man as a simulation, which she learnt later was a real wedding!
The scammers convinced her to take wedding planner training
The woman said she applied for the apprenticeship after spotting a Facebook ad. It said no work experience was required and no registration fee would be charged for the training. Instead she'd be paid a monthly salary of HK$14,000 (Rs. 1L). Once she contacted them, the scammers convinced her to go for the wedding planner's training, citing better pay compared to a make-up artist.
Wedding planner training included a mock wedding
She anyway had an interest in wedding planning, so she thought to opt for it. The module entailed her to undergo a free training course in Hong Kong in June, following which there will be a test. That test included a mock wedding to a man of same age that would be held in Fuzhou (Fujian province), some 666kms away from Hong Kong.
The duo also had to register their marriage officially
The 'mock' wedding also required the duo to sign a document at a local government office. When she raised a doubt, the scammers assured her that they know the mayor and their marriage will be nullified afterwards. Till now she was convinced, but when she returned to her home, her friend, after listening to her story, said she has fallen prey to a scam.
With police reluctant to help, she sought help from FTU
She approached the police, but they were reluctant, citing there's no illegality here, as the marriage certificate is valid. She then turned to the Federation of Trade Unions (FTU), political group and Hong Kong's largest labor group. "It's a new form of marriage scam," Tong Kamgyiu, director, Rights and Benefits Committee of FTU. Meanwhile, the girl's teacher helped her in collecting evidence on mainland.
Mainland residents marry Hong Kong locals to settle there
They have now handed the case over to the police, along with evidence and documents. "We need to pressurize the police to take this problem seriously," Tong said, adding further action would be taken as per the lawyer's advice. When asked about the motive, he chose not to comment but it's been a norm that mainland residents marry Hong Kong locals to settle there.
'Youngsters should read up about companies' background before applying'
Meanwhile, Sung Siu-kin, Vice-Director, Hong Kong Beauty and Fitness Professionals General Union, said before applying for any job, youngsters should read up a little bit about the companies' background. When they fail to do so, syndicate ringleaders lure these young Hongkongers into sham marriages.