Saturday 2 February 2019 3:56 AM UTC
JALANDHAR Feb 2: Indian police have accused a brother and sister of ‘marrying’ each other to obtain an Australian visa for the woman.
Authorities in the Indian state of Punjab allege the siblings forged identity documents and registered themselves as married, before obtaining an Australian spouse visa in 2012.
The brother was thought to already have residency in Australia.
The pair’s cousin lodged a complaint to police earlier in January claiming they had forged a bank account, passport and other documents in the sister’s name, before using them to be granted an Australian spouse visa.
Inspector Jai Singh of Bathinda District claimed the fraudulent couple were currently living in Australia along with other family members including their father, mother, brother and maternal grandmother.
Mr Singh said: “According to our investigation, we have come to know so far that the brother was already a permanent resident of Australia and documents were forged to give his sister the identity of their cousin and they first got a marriage certificate from a gurdwara and it was registered in the sub-registrar’s office.
“We are carrying out raids to find them so that we can question them and complete our investigation.
“But so far, their whereabouts are unknown.”
The Australian Department of Home Affairs told the newspaper that all documents provided as proof of identity when applying for a visa are thoroughly checked and verified with authorities based in the country of origin.
But it admitted ‘the department has no control over genuine passports issued by the foreign government which may have been issued based on fraudulent documents”‘
Inspector Singh said that while identity fraud was not common in his jurisdiction, he was left ‘shocked’ by the current case.
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