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Chinese illegal worker jailed 16 months, another arrested

Posted on 08 June 2023 No comments


The Mainland visitor admitted doing illegal work, overstaying and using a fake HKID card

The Shatin Magistrates’ Court has sent out a warning against illegal work when it sentenced a woman visitor from the Mainland to 16 months in jail yesterday, June 7, after being arrested while working as a dishwasher in a restaurant in Wan Chai.

The defendant, aged 50, was also found to be in possession of a forged HK identity card.

She pleaded guilty to a charge of taking up unlawful employment for which she was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment. An additional month in jail was imposed for her guilty plea to a charge of overstaying and possessing a fake HKID card.


According to a statement issued by the Immigration Department yesterday, another Chinese female suspected of employing the illegal was also arrested, and their investigation is ongoing.

The suspects were arrested during an anti-illegal work operation called “Twilight” conducted on Apr 24.

Separately, the police arrested a 66-year-old female visitor from the Mainland on Tuesday, June 6, after inspectors from the Labour Department found her to be working illegally as a dishwasher at a restaurant in Sheung Shui.


The woman was also found to have overstayed her visa, and was in possession of a fake HKID card.

It’s not clear if the two cases are related.

As in the first case, a woman aged 42, was arrested on suspicion of hiring the illegal worker.


Both suspects were still under investigation as of today.

Immigration warned that illegal immigrants who take up unlawful employment could be jailed for up to three years, and fined a maximum amount of $50,000.

Their employers face more serious consequences. The maximum penalty imposed on those who employ people who are not lawfully employable is 10 years’ imprisonment and up to $500,000 in fines. An immediate custodial sentence is prescribed for offenders.


According to the sentencing guidelines laid down by the High Court, employers “must take all practicable steps to determine whether a person is lawfully employable prior to employment.”

This does not only involve a cursory inspection of the job applicant’s identity card. Rather, employers are obliged to make enquiries about the person and ensure that there is no reasonable doubt concerning the applicant’ lawful employability.

Labour chief allays concern over alleged abuses of imported caregivers

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RCHs are inspected regularly to ensure the rights of imported carers are protected, says Sun
(Caritas photo)

Hong Kong’s Secretary for Labour and Welfare Chris Sun has sought to allay fears that imported care workers are being taken advantage of by the residential care homes that hired them.

Legislator Luk Chung-hung raised concerns about the working conditions of the non-local care workers during a question-and-answer question at the Legislative Council yesterday, Wednesday.

Specifically, Luk asked whether the workers who were brought in from the Mainland under the Supplementary Labour Scheme are being made to sign dual contracts so part of their salary is deducted illegally each month, that they are not paid the legal rate for overtime work, that they are not given housing allowance, and that they are given work outside of their scope of  duties, including working as substitute staff on rest days.


The questions are seen to have far-reaching implications, especially as Hong Kong is poised to hire 3,000 more caregivers from overseas, to supplement the nearly 4,000 workers hired from the Mainland that are already in the city.

In his reply, Sun said the government attaches great importance to protecting the rights of imported workers, including those hired under the SLS.

“Imported workers enjoy the same protection as local workers under Hong Kong's labour laws, including the protection on payment of wages and restrictions on deduction of wages under the Employment Ordinance (EO),” said Sun in his reply.


“In addition, imported workers and employers must sign a Standard Employment Contract (SEC) prescribed under the SLS to further protect the employment rights and benefits of imported workers.”

The SEC requires employers to pay wages to each imported worker by auto-pay and get them to attend briefings by the LD so they will fully understand their employment rights and benefits, as well as the channels for seeking redress and making complaints.

Sun said labour officers carry out regular inspections of workplaces and accommodations provided by employers, and have issued written warnings each year to violators. In 2020, 35 such warnings were issued, 48 in 2021 and 50 last year.


Six employers were meted administrative sanctions, including one employer of a care home for the elderly, after being convicted of violating the Immigration Ordinance, Employees’ Compensation Ordinance or the Employment Ordinance.

The sanctions included the withdrawal of valid approvals for the offending employers to import workers, and banning them from participating in the SLS for two years.

During the inspections, some of the imported workers were interviewed directly to check whether there was any violation of their employment rights, and encouraged them to express their views or lodge complaints if they had been treated wrongly.


The inspectors also provided the imported workers with information cards listing down their employment rights, along with the hotlines of the LD, the Immigration Department, the HK Police and the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority, which they can call as needed.

Sun also disclosed that a total of 1,601 care workers were imported under the SLS in 2020, 1,699 in 2021, and 3,721 last year, amid a surge in demand because of the pandemic.

“ The LD will continue to adopt a multi-pronged strategy, including inspections, law enforcement, administrative sanction, education and promotion, to protect the rights and benefits of imported workers,” said Sun.

MTR fine for abuse of elderly fare scheme doubled to $1k

Posted on 07 June 2023 No comments


Only those aged 60 and above may avail of the $2 concessionary fare

You may have hoped to get a discount of a few dollars by pretending to be a senior citizen and paying only $2 in fare, but you could now get fined by up to $1,000 if you are caught doing this under a new policy by the MTR Corporation.

Starting on Jun 25, users of the MTR found to have abused the concessionary fare scheme will be fined $1,000 instead of the previous $500.


Users of the Light Rail and the MTR Bus found to have committed the same offence will be paying $370 instead of the current $290.

Apart from paying the shortfall or a surcharge on the spot, abusing the HK$2 Scheme is also an offense, with those convicted liable to imprisonment.


Worse, repeat offenders or those who refuse to pay the penalty could be prosecuted.

"For passengers who refuse to pay the surcharge or are found to have repeated acts of fare evasion, the Corporation will institute prosecution against the persons concerned or hand them over to relevant government departments for follow-up," MTR said.

Not only the MTR has been targeted by the fare abusers, however.


A survey conducted jointly by the Transport Department and public transportation operators between 2018 and 2022 found that more than 1,300 suspected abuse cases were found among passengers of the MTR, buses, ferries, kaitos, minibuses, trams, and event residents' shuttles.

Later this month, the TD will conduct territory-wide joint enforcement actions with public transport operators to combat abuses.

At the same time, the government has launched a publicity program to remind the public not to evade the law through advertisement placements on TV, radio and via posters.


The MTR said it will also enhance its public awareness campaign, along with stricter ticket inspection

Recruitment ng residenteng caregiver, gaganapin bukas at Biyernes

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Ang mga pribadong RCH katulad nito ang mga unang pinayagang mag-import ng caregivers

Isang job fair na gaganapin ngayong darating na Huwebes at Biyernes, June 8-9, para sa mga Residential Care Home (RCH) – ang mga pasilidad na kumakalinga sa mga matatanda o may kapansanan -- ang maaaring magbukas ng unang pinto para sa mga Pilipinong caregiver sa Hong Kong.

Mga 1,600 na manggagawa ang kailangan para sa iba’t ibang posisyon sa 30 na organisasyong kasali sa job fair, na gagawin sa Southorn Stadium sa Wan Chai.


Ayon sa anunsiyo ng Labour Department, bukas sa lahat ang job fair at walang bayad ang pagpasok dito. Mahigit 1,600 daw na trabaho ang iaalok sa publiko sa pamamagitan nito. 

Pero ayon sa sumagot sa kanilang hotline ngayong araw, para lang sa mga residente sa HK ang mga alok na trabaho sa job fair, at hindi kasama ang mga foreign domestic worker.

Magtatayo ng mga booth ang mga kasaling organisasyon upang tumanggap ng mga aplikante sa iba’t ibang posisyon, gaya ng care worker, training instructor, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, social worker, nurse, child care aide, programme assistant, administrative assistant at cook.

Ayon sa Labour, karamihan sa mga posisyon ay may suweldong mula $14,000 hanggang $23,000 na bubuksan sa mga caregiver.


“Sasaglit ako diyan. Baka may oportunidad akong makita,” ika ng isang Pilipinong ayaw ipalabas ang pangalan.

Mahalaga ang resulta ng recruitment na ito dahil dito mas makikita ng Hong Kong kung gaano karaming mga residente ang interesado na mag aplay sa mga bakanteng trabaho sa sektor na ito.

Dahil sa malaking kawalan ng mga manggagawa sa mga RCH ay inaprubahan ng gobyerno kamakailan ang pag-import ng mga caregiver mula sa Mainland China at ibang bansa, kabilang ang Pilipinas.

Itinakda ang pagsisimula ng recruitment sa ilalim ng Special Scheme to Import Care Workers for Residential Care Homes sa June 19.


Sa ilalim ng programang ito, bibigyan ng Labour ang mga RCH ng quota sa pag-angkat ng mga caregiver bilang kontratadong empleyado. Sila ang bahalang tumanggap ng mga aplikasyon mula sa mga imported worker na nararapat base sa kanilang pangangailangan.

Dahil may 4,000 nang caregiver mula sa Mainland ang nagtatrabaho na sa HK ngayon, may 3,000 posisyon pa ang pupunuin mula sa ibang bansa sa ilalim ng bagong proyekto na inaprubahan ng gobyerno noong Disyembre ng nakaraang taon. 

Hanggang 7,000 lang sa kabuuan ang maaring tanggapin na mga imported worker sa ilalim ng programang ito.


Kabilang ang Pilipinas at Indonesia sa mga tinitingnan ng HK na magpupuno ng malaking pangangailangan nito ng mga careworker. 

Noong Enero ay bumisita si Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Chris Sun, sa Pilipinas at Indonesia upang ipaliwanag ang plano ng Hong Kong na mag-angkat ng 3,000 care worker para sa mga RCH.

Suportado ng mga opisyal ng Pilipinas ang plano.

Ang job fair ay bukas mula 11am hanggang 5.30pm sa 1/F, Southorn Stadium, 111 Johnston Road, Wan Chai (malapit sa Wan Chai MTR Station Exit A3. Para sa mga katanungan, tumawag lang sa tel no 2153 3985) NA!

Protect our children, CE says

Posted on 06 June 2023 No comments
The woman suspected of suffocating her 3 daughters to death is led away by police (RTHK photo)

Chief Executive John Lee has made an impassioned appeal to the public to help protect children in Hong Kong, a day after a woman resident of Indian descent was arrested on suspicion of suffocating her three young daughters to death.

"No matter what happens in a family, violence is not the solution, it would only exacerbate the problem. Same as every human being, every child has a right to live. No one should take away their lives. We must protect our children. There is always a very complicated array of factors behind family tragedies," Lee told reporters earlier today, Tuesday.

He said those who are in urgent need of help should not hesitate to ask for assistance, including from the government. People around them in turn, should go out of their way to help and enlist the aid of concerned government departments if need be.

He pledged continued support from the government at well as collaboration with non-government organizations and the private sector in extending help to those in need, including members of ethnic minority communities.

The visibly distraught HK leader appeals to everyone to help those in need 

Initial investigations revealed that the 29-year-old mother had separated from her husband and took the three children to live with her in a subdivided unit in Kweilin Street in Sham Shui Po.

Early yesterday she called the police and said her estranged husband had attacked their children aged 2, 4 and 5, with a knife, and had injured her as well.

Officers who rushed to the woman’s residence did not see any sign of her being injured, but noticed that she was incoherent. They found the bedroom door locked, and when they broke it down, saw the three girls lying on a bed, motionless. They rushed them to a hospital but they were already dead on arrival.

The woman has been charged with three counts of murder and will appear in Kowloon City court tomorrow.

The incident came just two days after a mentally ill man stabbed two women to death in a mall in Plaza Hollywood in Diamond Hill. Police said it was a random attack as there was no sign that the assailant knew the victims.

Konsulado nagbabala: Huwag ipagamit sa iba ang inyong dokumento

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Nagbabala ang Konsulado sa mga Pilipino sa Hong Kong na huwag ipagkatiwala o ibigay kahit kanino ang mga dokumentong naglalaman ng kanilang personal na impormasyon, gaya ng kanilang HKID, lalo na kung may kapalit na kabayaran.

“Alalahanin na maaaring magamit ng mga sindikato ang inyong mga personal na impormasyon upang magbukas ng bank account at cryptocurrency account na ginagamit sa ilegal na transaksyon gaya ng money laundering,” ayon sa Konsulado.


Binalaan din ng Konsulado ang mga nagpapahiram ng kanilang ATM card dahil magsasangkot sila sa kasong money laundering.

“Ang money laundering ay krimen na may kaakibat na pinakamataas na  parusang multa na umaabot sa $5 million at 14 na taong pagkabilanggo sa may-ari ng bank account.” dagdag ng Konsulado sa isang Facebook post.


Kasama rin sa mga pinaalalahanan ang mga nagpapahiram ng kanilang passport, na pwedeng magamit ng ibang tao sa pangungutang. Kapag tinakbuhan ng mga manggagamit ang utang, walang magagawa ang may-ari ng passport kundi magbayad ng utang ng iba.

Nagpalabas ng paalala ang Konsulado sa harap ng dumaraming bilang ng mga Pilipinang nakakasuhan ng money laundering at nabibilanggo.


Noong May 4, halimbawa, dalawang Pilipina ang ipinakulong ng 15 buwan at 12 buwan dahil sa money laundering matapos litisin sa Eastern Court.

Sinabi ni Magistrate Vivian Ho na mabigat na krimen ang money laundering na kinasangkutan nina Marissa C. Mesa at Hazel V. Gepulgani kaya hindi maiiwasang ipakulong sila.


Natunton at inaresto si Mesa matapos magamit ang kanyang ATM card sa pagpasok at paglabas sa kanyang HSBC account ng $1.2 million na galing sa isang biktima ng scam.

Inaresto naman si Gepulgani noong November 2021 matapos pumasok at lumabas sa kanyang HSBC ATM account ang $281,400 mula June 13, 2020 hanggang June 18, 2020. Ayon sa kanya, nawala niya ang kanyang ATM Card matapos niyang magbukas ng account, pero hindi niya ini-report sa bangko.

Ayon sa Hong Kong Police, naitala sa Hong Kong noong 2022 ang 28,000 scam, kung saan piniga ang $4.8 billion mula sa mga biktima, at idiniposito sa mga ipinagamit na bank account upang maging malinis na pera kapag na-withdraw.

Walk and support the Mission for Migrant Workers

Posted on 05 June 2023 No comments


Poster for the Mission's Charity Walk this Sunday, Jun 11

This Sunday, June 11, the Mission for Migrant Workers will hold its Charity Walk 2023 to raise much-needed funds for its various activities and support services for migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong.

The Mission which was founded more than 40 years ago, is the longest-serving migrant support organization in Hong Kong. It provides counseling, legal help and support, and even shelter to migrant workers in distress or in need.


Each MDW who participates in the Charity Walk will be asked to donate $50, while non-MDWs must give $200 to support the fund-raiser.

MDWs are encouraged to look for sponsors, and get as many of their fellow MDWs to join the Charity Walk which will be held from 11am to 2pm. The walk is an easy stroll from the St John’s Cathedral on Garden Road, Central, to the Peak.


The Mission is aiming to raise at least $200,000 by getting no less than 300 people to take part in the Walk, and help promote inclusion, mutual understanding and respect between MDWs and other people in the community.

Those who want to donate beforehand may do so either through FPS transfer to mobile number +852 9144 3744 MFMW Limited) or bank transfer to Hang Seng Bank 210- 116448-883


For each bank transfer, cash deposit, or FPS transfer, please send screenshots of the payment records in Whatsapp to +852 9144 3744 with a message “MFMW Charity Walk 2023”.


To make the outing more fun, prizes will be given to the group that raises the highest amount of donation, the individual who achieves the same, and the group that manages to get the most number of people to participate.

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