중앙데일리

Forger created fake wives to obtain visas to the U.S.

Nov 22,2004
Police said yesterday they have seized evidence indicating that as many as 250 single Korean women have illegally entered the United States by representing themselves as the wives of well-to-do employees at some of Korea’s major corporations.
Records confiscated from “visa brokers” in Seoul turned up documents that showed hundreds of U.S. visa applications had been forged.
Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s Foreign Affairs Division said it had detained a 38-year-old man on forgery charges. The police identified the suspect as Mr. Yang.
Eight Korean women, in their 20s and 30s, were called in for questioning in connection with the investigation. The documents Mr. Yang had included copies of resident registrations and certificates of income, employment and university graduation as well as bank statements.
In general, the U.S. Consulate in Seoul refuses to issue visas to young, unmarried women who do not have strong family ties in Korea or who cannot demonstrate that they have significant financial resources.
According to the police, Mr. Yang worked with two accomplices, only identified as Mr. Kim and Sally. Beginning in January 2001, the three suspects in the case placed advertisements in Korean-language newspapers in Los Angeles and on Internet sites, claiming that young women could earn high incomes working as barmaids and cosmetologists.
The police said they are still looking for Mr. Kim and Sally, both Korean-Americans with U.S. citizenship. Sally is reportedly living in Los Angeles.
Police said Mr. Kim had obtained personal information on employees at large businesses while working as a travel agent. Mr. Yang used the stolen information to forge documents that showed the young women to be wives of well-to-do employees.
The brokers charged the women up to 8 million won ($7,500). Police estimated their total earnings at about 2 billion won.
The seized records showed that 320 customers had sought the brokers’ help, with 250 having already left the country. An officer working on the case said, “For those applicants rejected by the United States, the brokers arranged trips to Canada and then smuggled them into the United States.”
Mr. Yang reportedly coached the visa applicants, telling them to memorize the family background and career information of their fake husbands before they went to visa interviews at the U.S. Consulate.


by Ser Myo-ja


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