A Conduit of Mostly Non Mainstream News / Information – without Political Correctness…
AN investigation by The Courier-Mail Newspaper has uncovered bogus marriages allegedly brokered by an Oxley-based immigration agent.
Bombay-born Chetan Mashru is also accused of profiteering through applications for refugee and skilled migrant visas students have no prospect of getting.
A happily-married father-of-two said Mr Mashru, 32, offered in January to arrange residency for him “if you divorce your wife”.
The man’s family in India yesterday received a threatening text warning against pursuit of complaints against Mr Mashru, a day after The Courier-Mail confronted the agent at his Oxley office.
The Federation of Indian Students of Australia called for more criminal prosecutions of agents, saying such complaints were commonplace in an industry “reeking of corruption and nepotism”.
A teenage mother of three, who also asked not to be named, said she was paid $3000 by a Punjabi student who she married.
The Inala woman, 19, whose husband has never set foot inside her Housing Commission home, said: “I was struggling money-wise at the time, and a friend suggested it.
“My friend said if I need money, there’s this thing I can do – I can just sign some papers saying I’m married and they’ll pay me $1000 each month.”
The woman said she saw her new “husband” pass Mr Mashru a large sum of cash in August, the month they were married.
While she remains married to the man, she no longer receives payments out of fear she would “get into trouble”.
Her husband, 24, who also declined to be named, must now return to India.
He confirmed he had paid $18,000 to Mr Mashru, who sources visa brides through a network of Australian friends.
“Chetan do (sic) only the girls sitting at home and who got children,” he said.
A second sham marriage involves an Indian student, 27, who claimed he paid $20,000 to Mr Mashru to be paired with an Acacia Ridge woman of Jamaican descent aged 21.
A third complaint comes from Vikram Singh, who met Mr Mashru when his wife sought visa advice.
Mr Singh, 28, said he refused a brazen offer from Mr Mashru to secure his residency by arranging a marriage to an “Australian, New Zealander or African woman” for $5000. “Chetan said, ‘I have an option for you, if you divorce your wife’,” he said.
That was after Mr Mashru deliberately botched a visa application for Mr Singh’s real wife Navneet Kaur, which has resulted in the couple and their children, aged two and six months, being forced to leave Australia this month.
Ms Kaur, 24, said she had wanted to extend her student visa, but Mashru talked her into applying as a skilled migrant.
She was “horrified” to learn he falsely listed her job as “pharmacist”, then refused to refund his $1580 fee.
Two students from Eight Mile Plains and Kuraby said Mr Mashru talked them into paying $3400 each to apply for rejected refugee visas.
“He assures everyone of success and tells students that he has contacts,” one said.
Mr Mashru rejected all of the allegations, saying he did not remember Mr Singh and Ms Kaur, and had never applied for marriage visas.
“I’m just one small guy in my office in Oxley,” he said.
“Students who cannot get the visa they want will point the finger at anyone.”
Anyone caught arranging visa marriages faces up to 10 years in jail and fines of $100,000.
The Migration Agents Registration Authority has taken action against 11 agents this year, barring three.
Last month an Indian student working in a Perth university became the 10th person jailed over a scheme in which English test scores were inflated to boost visa chances.