Man in Marriage Scam Gets 10-Month Jail Term
The Straits Times, Thursday, June 18, 1998
He was married, so he bribed another man to marry his mistress from China so she could get PR here.
A married man and convicted burglar was jailed for 10 months yesterday for bribing a man with $7,000 to marry his Chinese national girlfriend so that she could be in Singapore with him.
Cheong Yin Meng, 43, who wanted his mistress, Ms. Cui Bin, 26, to get permanent residency (PR) status here, will serve his sentence after finishing a 26-month term for burglary.
The court heard that he had given bribes of $2,000, $3,000 and $2,000 to Mr. Lee Loke Sen, 39, a warehouse checker-sum-driver, between March and April last year. The money was to reward Mr. Lee for going through a marriage ceremony with Ms. Cui at the Registry of Marriages. District Judge Jasvender Kaur found Cheong guilty of the three corruption charges and sentenced him to five months’ jail on each charge. Two of the terms are to be consecutive.
Mr. Lee had told the court that he was introduced to Cheong by two others. He said Cheong had offered him $15,000 to marry Ms. Cui to that she could get her PR. He was supposed to get $5,000 upfront, and the rest only if she became a PR. He was to divorce her after that.
But Ms. Cui’s application for PR in June last year was rejected.
After Cheong had given him the third payment of $2,000 in April last year, Mr. Lee paged him but got no response.
Ms. Cui, who met Cheong here through friends in 1996, told the court that she had an intimate relationship with him, but he did not tell her that he was married. She had entered Singapore on a student’s pass.
She went back to China for a short while. After her return in June 1996, she learnt from a friend that Cheong was married.
Ms. Cui, unemployed, told the court: “After discovering that he had a wife, I decided to look for a new boyfriend to get married.” She denied that she did so to qualify for PR.
But she admitted that she met Mr. Lee for the first time when the two of them and Cheong went to the marriage registry in March last year.
They had gone there to get a registration date for the marriage, which was for April 2 last year.
Cheong, who was hailed last July for housebreaking and theft, said in mitigation that he had two children, and that his ex-wife was holding on to most his properties and bank accounts.
He could have been fined up to $100,000 and jailed for up to five years on each corruption charge.
Mr. Lee, in an interview last night, sad that he and Ms. Cui had been together for a year and had been staying in a rented flat in Henderson for the past few months.
Worried that he would be charged, he said only that he needed the money at the time to settle his debts.