30 October 2012

Sydney policeman admits role in Australia visa sham marriage scam

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Senior Constable Hoan Thien 'Ryan' Pham, 31, is currently being investigated by the NSW Police Integrity Commission for his role in three sham marriages intended to fraudulently obtain an Australia visa.

Australia visa

Senior Constable Pham has admitted his part in a sham marriage scam designed to fraudulently obtain visas.

Senior Constable Pham and his de facto partner, Bich Tuyen Kha, are jointly accused of orchestrating three sham marriages for the purposes of obtaining an Australian visa in exchange for thousands of dollars; Senior Constable Pham is also accused of lying under oath and supplying confidential infomration to criminal enterprises.

The couple allegedly forged documents including posing for photographs and staging phonecalls to support the fake marriages - two for Ms Kha and one for Sen Constable Pham - and deceive the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. Ms Tuyen Kha was recorded saying that due to her partner's position as a police officer they would be subject to less scrutiny.

"[The department will] start to back away because he's a police officer," said Ms Tuyen Kha. "They have got integrity, you know. They have got trust, you know."

Once the residency applications were granted, both of the accused rarely, if at all, saw their supposed spouses again.

Senior Constable Pham insisted during two hours of questioning that the relationship with Ms Tuyen Kha had broken down and the marriage had been bonafide as he had married a Vietnamese girl in line with his mother's wishes. He maintained he had only ever received airfares in return.

However, after consulting with his lawyer, Senior Constable Pham returned to the commission and admitted to deceiving the department in exchange for money.

"I want to asy that I lied about the proposal," said the policeman. "Just the pact that my parents want me to marry a traditional girl over here."

"I think [the Vietnamese woman] paid me about AU$15,000 [£9,600]."

The hearing continues.

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