A love of curries was the only truth in a statutory declaration made by an Australian bride to help her fake Indian husband stay in the country, a court has heard.
Leilani Rose May is one of 16 women who were allegedly married off by migration officer Chetan Mashru and his celebrant wife Divya Gowda in a “one-stop shop” for spousal visas.
The couple’s trial in the Brisbane District Court heard on Tuesday that Ms May was paid $1000 cash after marrying Amritpal Singh in 2011 and a further $250 each week into her bank account.
The now 25-year-old said she had never met Mr Singh before their wedding, which was merely a signing of documents at Mashru and Gowda’s Oxley townhouse.
Ms May said she later signed more documents that were not true including a statutory declaration in front of a justice of the peace detailing her faux relationship.
The court heard the declaration claimed the two met at a friend’s birthday party and later exchanged phone numbers.
“He’s a sensitive and caring man and loves me a lot,” the document says.
It further claimed Ms May was learning Punjabi, how to make the curries she loved and wanted Mr Singh’s visa to be sorted as soon as possible so they could travel a bit before settling down and starting a family.
But Ms May admitted it was all a lie except for one element.
“I love curries,” said.
Mashru and Gowda have pleaded not guilty to arranging marriages for visas while Mashru, who is representing himself in court, is also charged with delivering a false or misleading document and influencing a commonwealth official.
The trial continues.