Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Marriage, Money, Fraud

From the marriage and kinship files the Pacific New Service reports that some Indian immigrants in the U.S. are falling victim to dowry fraud:

But the abuse of anti-dowry laws has become serious enough that the United States Department of State has published a travel warning about "Dowry/Visa Demands" for travelers to India. The warning states in part: "A number of U.S. citizen men who have come to India to marry Indian nationals have been arrested and charged with crimes related to dowry extraction ... The courts sometimes order the U.S. citizen to pay large sums of money to his spouse in exchange for the dismissal of charges. The courts normally confiscate the American's passport, and he must remain in India until the case has been settled."

The State Department cannot say how many false complaints are filed each year. However, "The fact that we issued a warning should be an indication of how widespread the problem is," says John Peters, the department's citizen services specialist for India.


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