Taipei – The National Immigration Agency (NIA) pledged Monday to crack down on illegal commercial marriage brokers and consider legal revisions to eliminate loopholes that allow such illegal practices to continue.
In a statement, the NIA said Taiwanese law prohibits matchmaking services from offering their service for profit or demanding compensation for what they do, and any marriage broker found to be operating illegally will have its license revoked.
The NIA issued the statement following a report by Mirror Media weekly that more than 30 Taiwanese men said they were cheated by marriage brokers claiming they could get spouses for them from China, Vietnam or Indonesia.
The victims accused three transnational matchmaking associations that were previously certified by the NIA of conspiring to swindle hundreds of thousands Taiwan dollars in betrothal money from them, the report said.
According to the report, after the men paid the money, their would-be brides escaped shortly after entering Taiwan or never came to Taiwan on the pretext that they did not receive the money.
The men asked the brokers to take responsibility, but were told it was the women’s problem, the report said.
The men have little legal recourse because they often handed the money to would-be brides overseas, meaning Taiwan has no jurisdiction over the cases.
The best they can do is to file a civil suit in Taiwan asking for compensation from the marriage brokers, it was reported.
According to the NIA, the licenses of the three transnational marriage brokers reported by the weekly were all revoked between 2016 and 2018 and their names posted on its website, disqualifying them from providing matchmaking services.
But the companies stayed in business simply by changing their names, and the NIA said it was mulling revisions to the law to close the loophole that allows marriage brokers whose licenses are revoked to form new agencies and apply for new permits to restore operations.
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