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2 Pinays jailed for overstaying

14 May 2016

By Vir B. Lumicao

Two Filipina former domestic workers who pleaded guilty to charges of overstaying their visas in Hong Kong were each sentenced separately on May 6 to prison terms of four months and eight months, respectively.
Chat A. Amores, 34 years old and single, pleaded guilty to a charge of breaching her condition of stay by overstaying in the city after her visa expired on Jan 12, 2011.
She was arrested by immigration officers on April 5 this year after staying and working illegally in Hong Kong for five years and 11 months.
The prosecution said Amores came to Hong Kong to work as a domestic worker in 2010 but her contract was terminated after seven months. She was forced to overstay and her latest address in Hong Kong was at the Australian Mansion on Luard Road, Wanchai.
In mitigation, the duty lawyer assigned to Amores told Magistrate Andrew Ma that his client pleaded guilty because she was remorseful.
The lawyer said she begged for leniency because he said Amores wanted to return to her family soon to be with her sick mother.
Ma sentenced the Filipina to four months, reduced because of her guilty plea.
Another former domestic worker, 58-year-old Cresencia B Castaño, pleaded guilty to a charge of overstaying for 11 years and five months.
Castaño, who is married, chose to stay on in Hong Kong when her contract was terminated and her visa expired on Oct 10, 2004, because she was supporting her four daughters and three sons, her lawyer said.
But over the years, she had developed a knee condition that hampered her physically and forced her to surrender herself on Mar 24 to Immigration authorities.
Ma sentenced her to eight months in jail, taking into account her guilty plea and the fact that she surrendered to Immigration.

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