A thriving business has emerged in Hong Kong of offering marriages of convenience for the sake of immigration.
‘Green-card’ marriages a lucrative business in Hong Kong (excerpt)
A mainland Chinese woman can find a Hong Kong man to marry for HK$50,000 (US$6,450). […] To earn permanent residency, the marriage has to last for at least seven years, during which time neither party can be declared bankrupt or be arrested. The opportunity to become a resident also evaporates if at any time during the seven years the nature of the couple’s marriage is discovered by the immigration department.
In the following case, the woman found a Hong Kong husband via other means and managed to stay the full seven years, but ended up paying with her life instead in a complicated “you go first, I’ll follow” immigration fraud chain.
Two-way permit holder chops girlfriend, attacks son and daughter with hammer — Angry at dashed residency dreams, he kills entire family
A “Hong Kong dream” has led to a tragic triple death! An unemployed man from Heyuan, Guangdong has yearned to become a Hong Kong resident, and sent his girlfriend to Hong Kong to marry an octogenarian despite already having a son and daughter with her. After seven years of waiting (for his girlfriend to gain permanent residency in Hong Kong), the man thought his own dreams of becoming a Hong Kong resident were due to come true, and had brought their children to Hong Kong trying to force the now-widowed woman to remarry him. However, the woman refused. The man is now suspected of using a knife and a hammer to kill his girlfriend and children before attempting suicide. He was discovered alive and sent to the hospital where he remains in critical condition.
The man (aged 38, surnamed Zhang) is suspected of murdering his wife and two children in Oi Tung Estate, Shau Kei Wan. He then attempted to kill himself with coal gas, but survives so far in critical condition. Eastern District Chief Inspector Lam (林紹華) disclosed that the deceased are Zhang Guilian (aged 33), who was found to have wounds on her right neck, and her children Zhang Dan (aged 9, female) and Zhang Lun (8, male) who died of hammer blows to the head. [Translation note: the report suggests that Mr. and Miss Zhang were unmarried and simply happened to have the same last name.]
Suspect attempted gassing suicide, in critical condition
According to a close friend, Mrs. Lee, Miss Zhang cohabited with her boyfriend in Heyuan, Guangdong and had a son and daughter. She was visiting relatives in Hong Kong in 2006 when she met the aforementioned elderly man on a bus and revealed her boyfriend’s Hong Kong dreams to him. The old man took pity on her and arranged a sham marriage with her, so that she could eventually become a Hong Kong permanent resident and bring her boyfriend down to Hong Kong with her.
Miss Zhang lived with the old man in a 170-square-foot flat in Oi Yuk Building in Oi Tung Estate, where yesterday’s murders occured. Miss Zhang also worked in a restaurant in Taikoo Place. At the start of this year, the old man, now 90, passed away from cancer. As Miss Zhang had now been living in Hong Kong for seven years, she was now eligible for permanent residency in Hong Kong. It is alleged that her boyfriend, ecstatic from this news, came down to Hong Kong on April 28 on a two-way permit so he could marry his newly widowed girlfriend and become a Hong Kong resident himself.
To Mr. Zhang’s surprise, Miss Zhang was tired of living in Hong Kong and wanted to renounce her residency here, causing an argument between the two. The police were called to intervene and Mr. Zhang returned to China in disappointment. However, Miss Zhang returned to China herself in May to resolve things with her boyfriend. After returning to Hong Kong, she applied to have the case closed, but the Social Welfare Department decided to continue its investigation. This Tuesday, a relentless Mr. Zhang returned to Hong Kong with the two’s children to force marriage with Ms. Zhang, even threatening to harm the children if she refused.
Seven years bitter wait proves fruitless
According to police reports, on Thursday night and Friday morning, young male cries were heard from inside Miss Zhang’s flat. These events were dismissed by her neighbours as a case of child discipline. At noon on Friday [July 26], a strong smell of gas was suddenly detected emanating from Miss Zhang’s flat, prompting the police and fire department to investigate. The police and firefighters broke into the flat to find blood stains throughout the premises. Miss Zhang and her son were found lying in pools of their own blood. A blood-stained hammer and were found nearby. After a search, Miss Zhang’s daughter was found dead under the bed. The three had been deceased for some time when their bodies were discovered.
Miss Zhang’s boyfriend was found on the bed unconscious and covered in blood. Paramedics found that he had cut himself, with the blood on his left arm and the rest of his body already dried up. The man was sent to Eastern Hospital, where he remains in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit under police watch.
Firefighters detected abnormally high levels of coal gas in the premises. The doors and windows of the flat were shut; however, the air conditioning was on. According to the police’s preliminary investigation, Miss Zhang was killed by a kitchen knife, while her children were killed by hammer blows to the head. Finally, the suspect shoved his daughter under the bed and turned on the gas, intending to commit suicide. However, he was discovered due to the gas leaking into the hallway.
Chief Inspector Lam said that the suspect has been arrested, but is unable at the time to provide any testimony. The case is currently being handled as a murder-suicide. The three deceased were transferred to a mortuary at 7pm Thursday night and are awaiting identification.
A spokesperson for the Social Welfare Department said that Miss Zhang had previously sought assistance from the department. The department had arranged to visit the family, but Miss Zhang was unfortunately killed before the department could intervene. The department will continue to investigate this case and provide assistance to surviving family members and other affected persons.