Indian couple found guilty of orchestrating 16 sham marriages in visa scam

An Indian couple has been found guilty in a Brisbane court on a total of 66 charges related to running a marriage visa scam for Indian men to marry Australian women for money

Registered migration agent Chetan Mashru faced 50 charges and his marriage celebrant wife Divya Gowda 16 charges over the visa racket that exploited desperate people.

The couple was found guilty of arranging 16 marriages over a 12 month period from March 2011, between Indian men who wanted permanent residence and Australian women who needed cash.

Mashru was found guilty on another 16 counts of delivering false documents to authorities and 18 counts of influencing a Commonwealth public official.

Gowda was guilty on one count of influencing a Commonwealth public official.

In exchange for tens-of-thousands of dollars, Mashru and Gowda would marry the couples at on their first meeting at a town house in Oxley.

The men would then able to apply for visas and the women were paid about one-thousand dollars a month to keep up appearances until the visas came through.

One witness told the court the only truthful thing about the marriage was that she “loved curry”.

Couples were told to open joint bank accounts, send each other text messages, take photos together, to appear genuine.

Both face up to 10 years in prison and were remanded in custody until sentencing tomorrow.