Man, woman to stand trial over alleged visa marriage scam
Posted on May 18, 2015
Two people have been ordered to stand trial over an alleged visa marriage scam in Brisbane.
Chetan Mohanlal Mashru and Divya Krishne Gowda have been committed to stand trial, accused of arranging more than a dozen fake weddings.
The Magistrates Court was told the ceremonies took place in Brisbane around 2011 so Indian men could stay in Australia.
Mashru has been accused of 17 counts of arranging marriages for visas and 28 other charges, including influencing a Commonwealth public official.
Gowda, the marriage celebrant accused of officiating the fake unions, also faces 17 counts of arranging marriages for visas.
Mashru was a migration agent, while his partner Gowda was a celebrant.
The court was told Australian women and Indian men heard about the scheme through friends and sought out the couple.
More than a dozen men and women testified that they entered into fake marriages.
One Australian woman was paid $30,000, and many couples were wed the first time they met.
At today’s hearing, William Burt testified he witnessed the fake wedding of his ex-girlfriend Jordan Dreyer to Indian citizen Gupreet Singh.
He said he tried not to get involved as much as he could and spent most of his time at the ceremony smoking.
He signed a witness declaration because he thought he would be getting his ex-girlfriend out of trouble.
Mr Burt said she and two other Australian women talked about getting paid.
After four days of evidence, the pair have been committed to stand trial.
The pair have surrendered their passports and have to regularly report to police.
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