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VOIDING A SHAM MARRIAGE

It is rare for someone to commit identity theft to get married, said lawyer Adrian Wee of Characterist LLC.

But he added that it was not unheard of for people to enter into a sham marriage so the foreign spouse can gain long-term residency in Singapore.

There are people who will pay significant amounts to procure a sham marriage, he said.

"A person whose identity was stolen and used to register a sham marriage has to convince the authorities that it was not him who had registered the marriage. This, in itself, is an uphill task," Mr Wee said.

He added that the victim has the option of seeking to annul the sham marriage, but doing so would mean admitting he did register the marriage.

A spokesman for the Registry of Marriages advises anyone who suspects his or her identity had been misused to register a marriage to make a police report and apply to the courts to void the marriage.