Thu, Oct 18, 2012 - Page 3 News List

FEATURE: Veterans fall prey to marriage fraud, city councilor says

‘OCCUPATIONAL’ BRIDES:Clusters of Chinese women are allegedly targeting elderly veterans for marriage, after which they try to hasten their deaths to get their estates

By Liu Jung, Chiu Shao-wen and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

“After sensing that something was not right about the seemingly genuine couple, she immediately alerted a borough chief and the city’s Veteran Services Department, and eventually successfully uncovered and stopped a fraudulent marriage,” the official said.

The official said that most household registration office employees, when seeing couples with a large difference in age, tend to ascertain the senior party’s determination to get married by raising detailed questions pertaining to the couple’s relationship, while keeping a close watch on the responses and attitude of the accompanying woman.

While the set of probing questions — such as how long have the two people known each other and whether they are certain about getting married — may prompt complaints from the women, the official said, officials would notify family members of the parties involved, as well as concerned agencies, if necessary.

Although people are entitled to freedom of marriage and government agencies are in no position to intervene, a VAC official said, concerned departments would still step in when potential marriage fraud is detected to curb cases of fraud, or even thuggery.

At present, the total number of veterans in this country amounts to more than 442,000, according to VAC statistics, with 239,301 of them aged 65 or above.

Meanwhile, the number of Chinese spouses in Taiwan has increased to 315,785 in August, from about 300,000 in April last year, the Ministry of the Interior said.

The 2008 results of a random survey conducted every five years by the National Immigration Agency, which aims to gauge which male age bracket has the highest inclination of marrying a foreign spouse, found that men aged between 35 and 44 (41 percent) are most likely to do so.

In second place are men aged between 45 and 54 (24 percent), followed by those aged 65 or above (9.6 percent).

Additional reporter by Lo Tien-pin and Chen Hui-ping

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