Woman agreed to sham marriage ‘for money’

Shae McDonaldAustralian Associated Press

A Brisbane woman paid to marry an Indian man as part of an alleged fake visa scam has told a court she was instructed to change her address and text the man to make the relationship seem real.

Chetan Mohanlal Mashru and Divya Krishne Gowda are on trial after they pleaded not guilty to arranging a string of marriages for visas.

Josephine Haig gave evidence in Brisbane District Court on Thursday following an appearance by her contract husband, Pardeep Singh.

Ms Haig said she met Mr Singh at a house in Oxley, in Brisbane’s southwest, which she believed was Mashru and Gowda’s in March 2011.

After the pair signed a marriage certificate, Ms Haig said Mashru told them to set up joint bank accounts, change her address to Mr Singh’s and text each other in order to make their marriage appear genuine.

Ms Haig told the court she agreed to take part in the fake marriage because she was offered money.

The court heard the Brisbane woman also referred a friend of hers to Mashru because she was struggling with her finances.

“I told her I was receiving money for it and it appeared very easy, too easy,” she said.

Mashru and Gowda are accused of arranging weddings out of their townhouse between 2011 and 2012.

The pair allegedly received large sums of cash in exchange for the marriages and lodging of documents.


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