POEA warns vs ‘marriage-for-job’ scam in China

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The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) today (July 8) warned Filipino women against a scam that entices their victims into marrying Chinese nationals in exchange for possible employment in China and other financial benefits.

The POEA issued the warning after the Department of Foreign Affairs reported that five Filipino women were recently stranded in Tongxu, Henan province after falling victim to the scam.

The distressed Filipinas were allegedly recruited by two Chinese nationals namely Song Gang and Li Chunrong, a.k.a. Steven Lee, with a promise of possible employment in China.

Steven Lee is reportedly married to Violeta Aquino, a Filipino national from Urbiztondo, Pangasinan, the POEA said.

One of the female recruits said Steven Lee and his wife arranged her marriage to a Chinese national named Wei Qi Lai, who was then staying in Pangasinan as a tourist.

She alleged that Steven Lee promised to give her family a dowry of P140,000 after their marriage and when she gets her Chinese visa.

However, her family only received P100,000 after deducting expenses for the wedding reception and processing of her travel documents.

They were married in Pangasinan on September 11, 2017, and she left for China on a tourist visa with her husband on November 13, 2017. The couple then stayed with Wei Qi Lai’s family in Zhangzhou.

The DFA’s Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs (OUMWA) said that although the five women are 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 family 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.

On December 25, 2018, her husband threw her out of their house after an argument but her mother-in-law managed to pull her back in.

She complained of physical and sexual abuse. She escaped from her husband’s home on April 23, 2018.

The DFA reported that they have recorded 23 Filipino women who married Chinese nationals for the opportunity to get employment in China.

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