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Overstaying mom jailed

31 March 2016


A former domestic helper who overstayed in Hong Kong for more than five years so she could stick to her man was jailed for five months on Mar 18 after pleading guilty to breaching immigration laws.
Shatin Court Principal Magistrate Andrew Ma meted the sentence on Maria Erina dela Cruz, 49, after scolding her for failing to show up in court for a scheduled hearing a day earlier.
The prosecution said a warrant of arrest had already been issued against Dela Cruz for failing to turn up in court. Her $100 bail was also forfeited.
The prosecution had originally filed two charges of overstaying against Dela Cruz. The first covered the period of Aug 29 2005 to 28 June 2010, and the second, from June 6, 2010 to Feb 16, 2016.
But the prosecution applied to withdraw the first charge.
The court was told that Dela Cruz came to Hong Kong on Aug 29, 2005 to work as a domestic worker. She stayed and worked legally until Jun 6, 2010, after which she remained in the city without the authority of the director of Immigration.
During the time she lived in with a Pakistani man by whom she bore two children, a boy aged 10 and a girl, 9.
Dela Cruz approached the Immigration Department some time between 2006 and 2010 to register her two children. When officers saw that she had overstayed, they told her to report on Jul 20, 2010 but she did not show up. She surrendered on Feb 16.
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