POEA warns against ‘marriage-for-job’ scam

MARRIAGE should be borne by genuine love and not monetary considerations. AFP

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has warned Filipinas not to be duped into marrying in China in exchange for promised employment there.

The POEA issued the admonition following a report by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) that five Filipino women had that experience and found themselves stranded in the province of Henan.

The five had asked the DFA assistance in repatriating them after being lured into the “marriage-for-a-job” racket by two Chinese recruiters identified as Song Gang and Li Chunrong alias Steven Lee.

Lee is reportedly married to one Violeta Aquino, a Filipino national from Urbiztondo, Pangasinan.

According to one of the women, Lee and Aquino arranged her marriage to one Wei Qi Lai who was then in Pangasinan as a tourist.

Lee promised that Wei would give her family a dowry of P140,000 of which P100,000 was paid after their marriage on Sept. 11, 2017.

The couple stayed with Wei’s family in Zhangzhou, but the promised job never materialized.

On December 25, 2018, the husband threw the Filipina out of their house after an argument but her mother-in-law convinced her to stay. She escaped on April 23, 2018 after suffering sexual abuse.

The DFA reported at least 23 Filipino women who had married Chinese nationals for the opportunity to get employment in China.

The four other women had similar experiences, according to the DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs (OUMWA).

OUMWA said that although the five women were legally married to their Chinese spouses and are in possession of valid residence permits, the spouses did not allow them to find work in China.

In addition, the Filipinos found out that their spouses do not have the financial capability to support their respective families in the Philippines contrary to what was promised by their recruiters.

The victim said she was doing fine during her first month in China but she started to worry after her husband confiscated her passport.