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Fake marriage warning

Police are warning girlfriends of Chinese sailors working on foreign freighters that using forged marriage certificates to visit their boyfriends may result in detention.

Immigration police at Waigaoqiao Port said yesterday that there had been five such cases since the beginning of March.

The women, all in their early 20s or younger, were released after being questioned. But police say that they could have been detained for several days.

The women were let go after investigators ascertained they were girlfriends and not potential stowaways.

"We don't want to be too mean to young lovers who have been separated for months," said Zhang Xinxin, an immigration police officer.

Some of the women had traveled from remote Yunnan and Guizhou provinces to see their boyfriends, whose vessels were only stopping at the port for a short time before leaving China's mainland, police said.

Police urged ship managements to step up supervision of applications for visits.

Only parents, children and spouses of Chinese sailors on foreign-registered vessels are allowed permits to board ships.

Police said the fake marriage certificates were very like the real thing, which might tempt more sailors and their lovers to buy them.


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