1. What offences can be charged for bogus marriages and what are the penalties?
The possible offences in relation to a bogus marriage include:
- conspiracy to defraud, liable on conviction to imprisonment for up to 14 years (common law offence and section 159C of the Crimes Ordinance (Cap. 200));
- making false representation to immigration officers, liable to prosecution and upon conviction face a maximum fine of HK$150,000 and imprisonment of 14 years (section 42 of the Immigration Ordinance (Cap. 115));
- any person who for the purpose of procuring a marriage knowingly or wilfully making a false oath or a false declaration would be liable to imprisonment for 7 years and a fine (section 34 of the Crimes Ordinance (Cap. 200)); or
- bigamy (marrying a person while still legally married to another person) shall be liable to imprisonment for seven years upon conviction (section 45 of the Offences Against the Person Ordinance (Cap. 212)).
Aiders and abettors are also liable to prosecution and the same penalties.
A person whose residency was obtained by any fraudulent means will have his/her Hong Kong identity card and residence status invalidated. In addition, he/she may be subject to a removal order to be sent back to his place of origin.