French prosecutors have indicted a 29-year-old Algerian migrant on suspicion of raping a woman and attempting to force her into marriage.
The Algerian migrant had initially approached the alleged victim several months ago, persuading her to go through with a sham marriage in exchange for €15,000 (£12,918/$18,163) so he could acquire French citizenship.
The woman told investigators that in the past, the Algerian had physically abused her and raped her, resulting in her becoming pregnant. She also told investigators that they had both made an appointment to get married with a civil registrar in Puy-en-Velay, Le Figaro reports.
The latest act of violence against the woman occurred last week when the Algerian assaulted the woman on the street in Le Puy-en-Velay, resulting in bystanders getting involved. Police later arrested the migrant.
On Sunday, the 29-year-old was placed in pre-trial detention and indicted for “rape and violence against a person in order to force them to enter into a marriage”, Clermont-Ferrand’s public prosecutor Eric Maillaud said.
A source close to the investigation told Le Figaro that it appeared a marriage of convenience had become a forced marriage. “mariage blanc project had taken the turn of a forced marriage”.
Civil Servant Suspected of Arranging Marriages to Keep Migrants in France https://t.co/BukeD41vVA
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 31, 2019
A sham marriage, also known as a “mariage blanc” (“white marriage”) in France, is not uncommon for migrants who want to remain in the country. In 2019, a city project manager in Villepinte was accused of arranging over a dozen such unions for migrants.
The city project manager, a 50-year-old woman, was said to have even shopped around to different cities and towns if she was met with any resistance from local officials who cast doubts on the sincerity of the marriages.
In February, a sham marriage network of six people was arrested and indicted in the Ardennes and is believed to have been behind at least 88 shame marriages over the last 10 years.
The network, which was run by two women, charged €23,000 (£19,799/$27,846) per marriage with €13,000 (£11,190/$15,739) going to the matchmakers and €8,000 (£6,887/$9,686) to the French spouse.
Sham marriages were also apparently encouraged by Mission Lifeline in 2019, with the German NGO tweeting: “You’re not married yet? Maybe you could fall in love with someone who doesn’t have the right to stay here? Could happen, right? Stay open.”
The tweet was met with criticism by many, including some who stated that the NGO was actively calling for people to take part in marriage fraud.
A 36-year-old French woman claims that her abusive migrant husband used her in an attempt to obtain French citizenship so he could abandon her and her children and bring his African wife and family to France. https://t.co/35l5exMZ6V
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 18, 2021