China Housing Fraud: 11 Relatives of Family Married, Divorced Each Other 23 Times to Fraudulently Obtain Apartments From The State
Image used for representational purpose | (Photo Credits: Unsplash/Caroline Veronez)

Beijing, September 25: Eleven Chinese relatives married and divorced each other 23 times within a month to obtain apartments given out by the state, Chinese media reported.

The cunning family came up with the scheme after officials offered 40-square-metre apartments to residents living in an area where homes were demolished, as part of a development project in eastern Zhejiang province.

The ploy started when a man named Pan re-married his ex-wife Shi, according to the state-run Global Times on Tuesday.

They decided to tie the knot again on March 6 because Shi was registered as a resident of the local village, a paper needed to win a free apartment. Six days later, they divorced. Shi had obtained his residency permit.

The experience didn't leave him with cold feet. Within 15 days, he had married and divorced his sister-in-law -- and her sister. His ex-wife, meanwhile, found another ex-husband to marry.

Cousins, brothers and sisters got into the act for a total of 23 weddings and divorces, according to the Global Times. The suspects expressed regret for their actions, the newspaper said. Police have opened an investigation.