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Illegal marriage trick leaves woman hitched

The Local · 17 Jul 2012, 12:29

Published: 17 Jul 2012 12:29 GMT+02:00

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The 31-year-old woman, identified in the German media only as Anna K., had contacted a marriage broker in 2008 looking for a partner – and foolishly gave the agent copies of her passport and birth certificate.

A week later the matchmaker set up Anna K. on a date with a 20-year-old Indian man who was working as a waiter in Munich, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Tuesday.

But Anna K., who works as a cleaner, said she was not interested. “Too lanky,” she told the paper.

Several weeks later, to her horror, she received a marriage certificate from the Banja Luka civil register office in Bosnia Herzegovinia, along with a letter congratulating her on her marriage.

She has since been working with a lawyer to try to get the marriage dissolved. Her work timesheet proves that at the time she was married, she wasn’t in Bosnia – she was cleaning at a nursing home in Bavaria.

And a handwriting expert from the Bavarian State Criminal Office said the signature on the marriage license was “most likely fake”, the paper said.

The Indian man, named by the paper as Kulwinder S., needed a residence permit in Germany. He said he had been married in, “Banja Luka, where different rules apply.”

This would seem to be correct – in Bosnia a couple can be married at the register office without them both being there, the paper said. Reason being that if one is critically in hospital, for example, they can marry before dying as long as they sign the necessary papers.

And although in this case, it seems neither of them were actually present, with Kulwinder S. sending his notarized agreement from India, and Anna K., according to her timesheet, being at work in Germany. Investigators have not been able to determine who impersonated Anna to register the marriage in Banja Luka.

A Munich family court has so far refused to annul the marriage, the paper said, because the Bosnian marriage certificate is authentic, whether or not the signature is forged.

And the court has so far refused to grant a divorce, saying that a couple that was never legally married in the first place cannot be legally divorced.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung said the Munich public prosecutor was investigating Kulwinder S., who is suspected of violating immigration laws by paying for a fake marriage in an effort to obtain a residency permit. He denies the allegations.

Story continues below…

The next court date has been set for the end of the month when Munich’s district court hears Anna K.’s appeal.

In the meantime, Anna K. will have to wait to marry the man she really loves, with whom she has a child.

The Local/sh

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:28 July 17, 2012 by Susan G
poor girl!
20:21 July 17, 2012 by Landmine
ha ha, you have to give the Indian credit for sneakiness!
21:27 July 17, 2012 by Steve1949
If the court said she was never legally married and therefore can't get a divorce then what's the problem. According to the court she isn't married.
22:29 July 17, 2012 by finanzdoktor
Actually this poor lady has been taken in by three dispictable individual(s): 1) the young man who apparently used her personal information to get a fraudulent (disagree with the court that a forged marriage license can be authentic); 2) the marriage broker who apparently gave her personal information to individual #1; and the court who ruled a forged document as authentic (bet they wouldn't rule that way if the shoe was on the other foot) and yet double-speaks in saying there is no marriage in the first place (What? First they say there is a marriage based on an authentic marriage license, though forged. Then, they turn around and say a marriage does not exist.).
08:15 July 18, 2012 by raandy
Lets start at the beginning , sent her birth certificate and a copy of her passport, to an unknown person over the internet.humm.
11:51 July 18, 2012 by wood artist
I'm missing something here. The court says she can't get a divorce because she was never legally married. Okay, that sounds reasonable. However, in the next breath the court says the marriage certificate is authentic, even though they apparently know she didn't sign it,etc. So...according to the court she's legally married while at the same time not legally married, all based upon the same evidence.

Somebody needs to explain to the judge(s) that she can't be both based upon the same evidence. It's kinda like being alive or dead. You really can't be both at the same time. Obviously she can't correct the problem if the court won't even give her a straight answer about what the problem really is.

10:40 July 19, 2012 by TheWonderer
I guess the trouble with the courts is that there are different courts involved (eventhough this is not expressis verbis stated in the article):

To me it looks like there is an administrative court on one side and the family court on the other side.

It is fairly common that you have different procedures running parallel.

But having in writing there is no marriage, there is no problem for her to marry her boy-friend.

Besides, rather than calling for divorce, she should start a process to declare it void from the beginning - that way, she would succeed.

I know this as once a long time ago I was caught in a similar catch 22-situation (not on marriage) and rather than appealing against it, we found the way out as stated above. It worked.

19:18 July 19, 2012 by jg.
I hope she has applied to have her tax code changed at the Finanzamt.
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