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March 24, 2015

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Foreigner jailed for 5 years for visa fraud

A SOUTH American man was sentenced to five years in prison by the Zhabei District People’s Court for providing illegal Chinese visa services to foreigners, Shanghai police said yesterday.

There have been several cases of visa fraud in recent years, but this was the first case involving a foreigner. Police identified the man simply as Godoi but wouldn’t reveal his full name or his country of origin, while saying he was sentenced last month.

Godoi, who ran a trading company, helped foreigners to get Chinese residence permits with a fake seal and copies of his business license, tax registration certificate and work contracts of his business partner.

With the fake documents, Godoi applied for residence permits for foreigners at the city’s employment service center and the Exit-Entry Administration of Shanghai Public Security Bureau.

Police started suspecting late last year after a foreigner who applied for a residence permit submitted documents for a job position that was “significantly different” from his previous work experiences. Investigators also found that Godoi had helped foreigners set up companies in Shanghai through which they applied for work visas for others.

Police did not reveal how many foreigners applied through Godoi or their current status, but said Godoi profited more than 50,000 yuan (US$8,050) from the illegal services.

Two Chinese employees at Godoi’s company, a man surnamed Sun and another surnamed Zhang, were also punished. Sun was sentenced to a year and a half in prison with probation, while Zhang got a year in jail with probation.

Chinese law forbids foreigners from working on different jobs or positions than those stated while applying for residence permits.

Last September Sun Haigang, a Chinese citizen from Nanjing, was sentenced to eight years in prison and fined 60,000 yuan for illegally selling residence permits to foreigners in what the Ministry of Public Security called the largest case of the kind in many years.

Six of Sun’s accomplices from different parts of China, including Shanghai, were also sentenced. One of them from south China’s Guangxi Province claimed he had made thousands of yuan in profit by selling more than 150 visas in two years since he got to know Sun.


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