A fellow blogger, Chris Palasz of An American in Korea sent me this news link:
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.
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?
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.
Though 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.
- Why I Married a Korean (chrissantosra.wordpress.com)
- Foreign Spouses to Take Korean Language Test for Marriage Visa (chrissantosra.wordpress.com)
- The Mail Order Bride Law (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Mail order Brides – Your future soul mate may be as close as your nearest computer. (eagleman6788.wordpress.com)
- The truth about Filipina wives and “Asian Wife” myths (filipinawives.wordpress.com)
- Book Review: A Bride For All Seasons: The Mail Order Bride Collection (sandysandmeyer.wordpress.com