He thought she loved him, the young Algerian only wanted papers: the Biterrois man manages to annul the marriage

He thought she loved him, the young Algerian only wanted papers: the Biterrois man manages to annul the marriage

Mohamed Okba and his mother Fatima Attmani Terki, president of the Dommages association. Antonia Jimenez – ML

These cases, more commonly called “gray marriages”, come before the courts more and more frequently, with the victim requesting the annulment of the marriage for “lack of consent”. Testimony. 

Pursuant to article 146 of the Civil Code, "There is no marriage when there is no consent. Thus the marriage is void if proof is provided that the spouses, or one of them, did not participate in the ceremony except as a side effect of the marriage, foreign to the purpose of the institution, with the deliberate desire to evade its other legal consequences."

Which means that’a court can annul a marriage if one of the two suitors marries for something other than the desire to spend happy days with their future half& nbsp;: money, papers, etc.

This definition is notified in the judgment rendered on March 14 by the Montpellier judicial court in the case opposing the Biterrois Mohamed Okba to that whom he married in Algeria on January 3, 2019. The judge declared the marriage null "for lack of consent".

He has a severe disability

The affair of what is more commonly called a "gray marriage" begins in 2017. Mohamed is a young man of 26 years old (33 years old today), suffering from a severe physical handicap since his childhood. He is looking for love, a future wife. He meets Imène during a vacation in Algeria, with his grandmother. "It was the neighbor who introduced me to his cousin. I fell in love at first sight."

Seven years later, Mohamed was finally able to free himself from this love which blinded him and then from the fall which he subsequently experienced. His words, like his gaze, are clear and precise. "I’thought it was mutual. I jumped into this story without asking myself any questions."

He asks his parents for their hand before leaving. The relationship lasted four years through screens and through a few meetings, when he went on vacation there.

"I got married on January 3, 2019, at the town hall of the Algerian village. And still not a single kiss between us. I put it down to Algerian tradition and waited for her to arrive in France to have privacy."

The young Algerian obtained her visa on March 19, 2020. In September of the same year, she moved into the apartment in the Million de Mohamed city. ;"But as soon as she arrives in Béziers, as from the beginning, she is shifty, pushes me away, refuses me any intimate gesture, any relationship, sleeps on the sofa. She had words and a humiliating attitude towards me…" He doesn't say anything to anyone, suffers in silence. Her mother, initially very happy that her son had married, did not notice anything and took steps to ensure that the young girl initially obtained a residence permit.

"A sentimental scam with migratory purposes"

However, after only a month in Béziers, she leaves one morning without saying anything. "We searched with my mother and, very quickly, we knew that she was in Marseille, with a friend we had never heard of. It’ there that I finally confided in myself first to my stepfather, then to my mother. I was lost. That day it all came out. We understood that it was a sentimental scam with migratory purposes, that’s what they say. What interested him was just to live in France and obtain the necessary papers." To move forward and blaming the shock, Mohamed is followed by a psychiatrist. He is also greatly supported by his mother, who, she says, suffers as much as he does, and by his lawyer, Maître Maurin of the Montpellier bar.

Laurent Maurin, lawyer: “It’s a real network”

The “gray” is it, according to you, a real social phenomenon ?
I think so. There are videos on the internet circulating on certain sites or networks which are real tutorials in Arabic which explain how to find the right French pigeon. And, if he is disabled, it’s even better! I have handled several cases of this type, in Nîmes and Montpellier. In Béziers, I am waiting for a decision on also a request for cancellation. All my cases concern male victims with women from the Maghreb.

Can we talk about a real network of scammers ?
Yes because there is a real approach. One, there is always a 48-hour wait when they arrive in France before, two, provoking the first event, any event, to file a complaint for violence. Three: they put themselves under the protection of an association for the protection of battered women, contact the family affairs judges to obtain a protection order. If they get it, it's the jackpot: they can obtain a divorce, proper papers, and, if the man is convicted, they can stay on the territory and obtain French nationality. Today, the recurrence of these cases alerts magistrates. They are more severe in assessing the evidence.

He begins proceedings for the annulment of the marriage. He will never see "his bride" only once. "On November 24, 2020, there was a knock on my door. It was her and two police officers. She had filed a complaint against me for sexual violence, even though I can't even walk! She asked for a divorce. But it was rejected twice."

After more than three years of legal battle, the case is finally heard in February 2024. Mohamed Okba obtains the annulment of his union. "Luckily, we had not yet succeeded in obtaining the papers for him." In the meantime, his mother sets up a Facebook group bringing together victims of "gray marriages" (read below). Today, the young Biterrois has rediscovered the joy of living.

“Dommages”, an association to fight against “sentimental fraud”

"When I understood what was happening to my son, I created a Facebook group bringing together victims that I called "The Gray Wedding : fraud to the feelings", explains Fatima Attmani Terki, Mohamed Okba's mother. It was about giving a voice to victims of sentimental fraud with migratory purposes, such as gray marriages. Very quickly, we reached 800 victims from all over France."

It is thanks to this Facebook page that Fatima understands that her son is not an isolated case, as her lawyer will confirm (read below). "It’s quite an organization. These are men or women who are seeking to obtain papers to live most often in Europe or the USA. To achieve their goals, they look for vulnerable prey – people who are divorced, disabled, isolated, elderly… hellip; – that they seduce with lies on social networks by making people believe in love. Very quickly, the "prey" is under the influence and financially supports the crook. Once you have the residence permit in hand, let go of your masks. Sometimes they leave the victim the same day."

She adds: "Very quickly, I understood that most of the victims encountered enormous difficulties in making themselves heard, to file a complaint. This is why I then created the Dommages association. Objective: to support and accompany victims of romantic fraud in administrative and other procedures, to inform, to prevent. Please note, I would like to point out that we are not fighting against undocumented immigrants but against crooks."

Contact: damages2023@gmail.com or 07 68 82 29 21.

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