Rustenburg - Namibia has investigated at least 70 so-called marriages of convenience, local media reported on Thursday.
State-owned daily newspaper, the New Era, reported that according to deputy home affairs minister Maureen Hinda-Mbuende, of the 70 marriages, only 10 were concluded through legal processes. The culprits paid a fine and were immediately deported.
Sham marriages mostly involve local women marrying foreign men in exchange for money. The foreign national then obtains Namibian citizenship through the marriage.
Although men are involved, the majority are women between the ages of 25 to 40 who receive about N$500 to N$1 500 per month from their sham partners.
Hinda-Mbuende said some local women were entering into marriages of convenience with nationals from as far as Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Egypt and Nigeria.
In the past five years, there had been 130 marriages between Namibians and Egyptians.
"We have engaged the law enforcement arms and arrests have been made and we envisage more arrests," she told the newspaper.
"Cases vary from marriage officials, including pastors, conducting such marriages amongst strangers; for example persons landing today just to marry someone they have never seen or spoken to. We have confirmed cases of Namibians being on the payroll of criminals to maintain sham marriages. These are just some of the cases that our law enforcement agencies are dealing with on a daily basis."
African News Agency (ANA)