From Korea with Love

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Korean Mail-order-bride Syndicate Caught in the Philippines

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A fellow blogger, Chris Palasz of An American in Korea sent me this news link:

Philippine authorities have rescued 29 women after busting a mail-order bride business and arresting two South Koreans and their four local partners, a police official said Thursday.

Police raided a house Wednesday in Bacoor city near Manila used by the syndicate and found the women, including a 16-year-old girl, said Chief Superintendent Reginald Villasanta, executive director of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission.

The syndicate collects thousands of dollars in fees from Korean men seeking Filipino wives, telling them falsely that the money will go to the women’s families, Villasanta said.

The Philippine embassy in Seoul has reported receiving many complaints from Filipino women abused by their Korean husbands and whose marriages have ended in abandonment or divorce.

It said that the women, who were given false information about their husbands’ family backgrounds, were wed through illegal “marriage brokers” in the Philippines, the embassy said in a statement.

Villasanta said the police were tipped off by victims. He did not give details of the police operation.

He said the suspects will be charged with violating the human trafficking law, which carries a 20-year prison term, and another law that prohibits mail-order brides, punishable by six years in prison.

Read more here: www.bellinghamherald.com

I am sharing this news with my FKWL readers to warn Filipinas and other foreigners who are planning to marry a Korean to be cautious of illegal matchmakers (or all matchmakers, in general).

Marrying someone from a different country for love is already difficult. What more if you marry someone from a different country who is a total stranger, someone whom you met through a matchmaking agency and have known after only a couple of days?

In the Philippines, matchmaking is illegal. I have discussed this in a previous post, Why I Married a Korean. Let me reiterate the Anti-Mail-Order Bride Law (Republic Act 6955 Section 2):

It is hereby declared unlawful:

(a) For a person, natural or juridical, association, club or any other entity to commit, directly or indirectly, any of the following acts:

(1) To establish or carry on a business which has for its purpose the matching of Filipino women for marriage to foreign nationals either on a mail-order basis or through personal introduction;

(2) To advertise, publish, print or distribute or cause the advertisement, publication, printing or distribution of any brochure, flier, or any propaganda material calculated to promote the prohibited acts in the preceding subparagraph;

(3) To solicit, enlist or in any manner attract or induce any Filipino woman to become a member in any club or association whose objective is to match women for marriage to foreign nationals either on a mail-order basis or through personal introduction for a fee.

South Korea mail_order_brideThough it is illegal in my country, Korean matchmakers find ways to scout for brides, mostly from poor families. These women are promised an affluent life in South Korea, but often fall victims to domestic violence or end up having unhappy marriages.

I know a Korean residing in the Philippines who likes to introduce younger Filipinas to his Korean friends. Most of his friends are old and are not able to find a wife in Korea. He does not own a matchmaking agency, but he has “matched” many Filipina-Korean couples in the past few years. I don’t know if he gets paid for doing that, but just like what most matchmakers do, he cajoles the women into thinking that they will have a prosperous life in Korea. How do I know this? I’ve been asked by this person several times to back him up. I was not aware of whatever he was doing at first, so when he asked me to call a Filipina, who ran away from her husband, and convince her to return to Korea, I agreed to help him. Later, I found out that the Filipina ran away, because her husband has a mental disorder and she wasn’t told that before marriage. I felt so bad for the Filipina. The next time I was asked to call her again, I spoke to her in Kapampangan (our native dialect), so that we could talk in secret. I was supposed to find out her whereabouts, but I didn’t. Instead, I told her to make her own choice, and if she thinks she can’t live with a husband who has a mental disorder, she shouldn’t return to him. That Filipina was 19 then. Her unemployed husband was 40 something. After that incident, I refused to help the Korean again. I don’t want to have anything to do with what he is doing.

There is nothing wrong about hoping for a better life abroad and wanting to help your family, but marrying a Korean does not guarantee a greener pasture. When somebody promises you something that is too good to be true, usually those promises are lies. Matchmakers will tell you everything you want to hear. They won’t tell you everything you need to know about the man you are to marry.

Most Korean men seeking foreign wives are middle-aged men (or older) who have a hard time finding a Korean wife, because of their age, low educational background and social status, and limited financial capabilities. Also, many of these Korean men live in rural areas where shortage of Korean women is a problem.

Matchmaking is legal in South Korea, so everybody can avail of this service even if the man doesn’t have a lot of money to spend for a bride, that’s why matchmakers look for brides in Asian countries that are not well-off.

Of course, not all marriages set up by matchmakers or marriage brokers are unsuccessful. There are but a few that turn out to be a match made in heaven.

Still, the fact that there are more arranged marriages that don’t turn out well can’t be shrugged off.

8 thoughts on “Korean Mail-order-bride Syndicate Caught in the Philippines

  1. Hello ms. Chris, I have stumbled upon your blog after searching Korean endearments on google. I really loved reading your blog and i was even glad to learn that you are a Kapampangan~ (Mayap a aldo keka, Cabalen! ^^) Thank you for sharing your life in Korea (I’m really interested in Korean culture, to a point that I applied and became an assistant-English teacher in my university’s English program for Koreans) More power on your marriage and God bless ^^
    Looking forward to reading more of your experiences as a Filipina married to a Korean.

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  2. Bruce, I am sorry that you and your wife are having this problem. I hope that things will soon be settled and that she’ll get the visa she needs. I really don’t understand why matchmakings are legal in Korea. Most of these marriage brokers are only after the money, they are not really helping.

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  3. Me and my filipino fiance’ are now caught in this web. She will be denied her K1 visa because she married a Korean who paid a service to find him a wife. Her cenomar shows she is married to this guy. She had to pay the money invested back to this guy before they would let her return to Philippines. This is a heartbreaking story..

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  4. Bawat tao mula sa Pilipinas kung sino ang nakatira sa Korea. Ako ay naghahanap para sa isang tao mula sa Pilipinas at ay nakatira sa Suwon lungsod, South Korea. Siya ay Korean Citizen. Ngunit sa Siya ay nagtrabaho sa Gimpo isang taon ang nakalipas at nagtrabaho sa Osan para sa huling 1 at kalahating buwan bago 2 buwan. Ang kanyang pangalan ay: Teresita D Gabriel (Tezs). 45 taong gulang. Ngunit mukhang 35 Ang kanyang pinakabagong blg mobile huling 4 na digit ay 5225 at lumang blg mobile huling 4 na digit ay:.. 7815 Ito ay lubos na pinahahalagahan kapag ang isang tao ay maaaring magbigay ng anumang impormasyon tungkol sa kanya sa akin o sa Suwon Police walang:. 01047784725 Dahil Ako suspecting na ang isang tao ay Pandaraya o pagpilit sa kanya. Siya ay nawawala mula sa Suwon bahay sa huling Abril 29. Na ako magsumite ng nawawalang ulat sa Korea Police sa Mayo 1. Ako ay kanyang asawa. Espya ma-awarded ilang mga cash. Tulad ng 20-30 Nanalo Korean. Kaya, mangyaring tawagan o mail: +82-1086913227, Pangalan Tez mga ina ay Aurea D Gabriel at pangalan Brother ay Jaime D Gabriel. Brother nakatira sa Alipangpang. Ina nakatira sa Old Pambansang kalsada, Limay Bataan .Ang kanyang ina numero ng telepono: 09278385796
    Salamat sa iyo,
    Abdur Rouf,
    Everybody from Philippines who is living in Korea. I am looking for someone from Philippines and was living in Suwon city,South Korea. She is Korean Citizen. But at She has worked in Gimpo one year ago and worked in Osan for last 1 and half month before 2 months. Her name is: Teresita D Gabriel ( Tezs). 45 years of age. But looks like 35. Her latest mobile nos last 4 digit is 5225 and old mobile nos last 4 digit was: 7815. It will be highly appreciated if someone can give any information about her to me or Suwon Police no: 01047784725. Because I am suspecting that somebody has cheating or forcing her. She is missing from Suwon house on last 29 April. I have already submit a missing report in Korea Police on 1 may. I am her husband. Informer could be awarded some cash. Such as 20 to 30 Korean won. So, please call or mail: 01086913227,
    Thank you,
    Abdur Rouf,

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  5. Korean brides are the best. Good choice. Korean women are the most stunning women on this planet. There are no ugly Korean women, you know? I mean, Korean women are thin and small. OK, some Western guys complain about too skinny Korean ladies but they are beautiful. What else do you need from a girl?

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  6. I think most Korean ladies seeking foreign men is because they want to come to the West to change their future. Thousands of Korean girls come to the West every year. Many of them accept older men as well.

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  7. I am often to blogging and i really appreciate your content. This article has really peak my interest.

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  8. Korean Mail-order-bride Syndicate Caught in the Philippines | From Korea with Love – good page to bookmark

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