Monday, November 25, 2013

Moroccan and New Zealander in Bizarre Love "Rectangle"

This is one of those tales that sounds as if it belongs in a cheap paperback romance novel. A lonely man and his ex-wife travel around the world to find love... and then things go wrong

The 55 year old man, described in the New Zealand newspapers as "a lonely Kiwi", had moved to Sydney, Australia 20 years ago and worked as a supervisor at a well-known Australian company. He separated from his wife - with whom he has two adult children - many years ago but they remained good friends.

Then he started looking on the Internet and struck up an email conversation with a Moroccan woman 30 years his junior . Then took his passport, birth certificate and baptism certificate in preparation for the wedding. In Morocco he converted to Islam  so as to be able to marry her. The plan was to  take her back to Australia to start a family.

It was at this point that things became a little weird. The "lonely Kiwi" actually flew to Casablanca with his former wife where she married the bride's brother in the same wedding ceremony. The two couples decided on a joint honeymoon and went on a "tourist jaunt" around the country.

The New Zealander flew with his former wife to Casablanca to meet his new partner.
Australian migration tribunal refuses to let young bride of 'lonely' New Zealander into the country

But immigration officials smelled something awry in the spicy intercontinental affair after it emerged the Kiwi man's ex-wife had also travelled with him to the Moroccan city of Casablanca and married the bride's brother in the same ceremony.

The bizarre love rectangle came unstuck when the Australian authorities refused to let his bride enter the country. The case came to light when it was sent before a Migration Review Tribunal of Australia hearing this month.

The "lonely" Kiwi man told the tribunal he had not wanted to get involved with a younger woman but thought "what the heck" and started an online relationship with the 24-year-old after being introduced online by her brother.

He applied for a loan from GE Finance and paid for himself and his ex-wife to travel to Morocco.

"They arrived in Casablanca, Morocco, in April and embraced their respective partners at the airport and then caught a train," the judgment said. They married the following month in a traditional ceremony, and photographs were presented to the tribunal.

However, although the Kiwi man converted to Islam before the ceremony he couldn't name his nearest mosque in Sydney or display any basic knowledge of the religion. He also took a character reference from a Maori elder to the tribunal - but it denied entry to his young Moroccan bride.

In declining her visa application, an official said the tribunal found it too hard to accept a married couple of 30 years with two children and six grandchildren "would travel together to marry a brother and sister much younger than themselves, from different cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds and conduct joint weddings and honeymoons before returning to Australia together".

It found the man and his former wife had been complicit in trying to get a "positive migration outcome" but stopped short of calling the marriage in Morocco a sham.

Rather, the tribunal said the Kiwi was an uncomplicated, lonely man who had been encouraged by the bride's brother into the relationship with "little or no insight into the nature of the relationship or the motivation of the visa applicant".

So, if you and your ex are planning to marry a Moroccan brother and sister, be warned, the road to marital bliss may be a little bumpy.

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