Bangkok: en Indian men and 24 Thai women have been arrested in Thailand for their alleged involvement in fake marriages aimed at extending spousal visas in the country, authorities said.
At least 20 other Indian men and six Thai women are said to be on the run, The Nation newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The arrests are part of an ongoing crackdown launched by the Immigration Police Bureau on foreigners living unlawfully in the country, it said.
The suspects were among 30 Indian men and 30 Thai women wanted in court-issued arrest warrants for forging state documents, using forged documents and filing faulty information to state officials which may result in others' damages, police said.
Immigration Police Bureau 1 in Bangkok had detected fake marriages between 30 men and 30 women, which were falsely documented in order to extend spousal visas for the men, most of whom made a living in Thailand as illegal moneylenders or salesmen for pay-by-installment goods such as clothing and electrical appliances, the police said.
The 30 women allegedly colluded in the wrongdoing by being hired, reportedly for 500-5,000 baht (USD 15 to 152) each, to register fake marriages and submit false documents to the authorities, they said.
The authorities revoked the men's visas and secured 60 arrest warrants for the suspects.
They subsequently arrested 10 of the wanted Indians and 24 of their Thai accomplices, and are continuing to look for the 26 fugitives, the report said.
Police investigators presented evidence to revoke the suspects' faulty marriage licences with the respective district offices, it added.