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Filipina recruiter jailed 2 years for fake FDH visa scam

26 July 2019


By Vir B. Lumicao

Osias brought into HK 12 fellow
Filipinos on fake FDH contracts
 
A Filipina who owned a  defunct employment agency in Hung Hom was sentenced on Jul 24 to two years in jail for using fake documents to help 12 fellow Filipinos stay in Hong Kong on foreign domestic helper visas.

Myrna Q. Osias, owner of D’Sun Employment Services which used to have its offices at Planet Square in Hung Hom, pleaded guilty before District Court Judge Louisa Lai to charges of forgery and conspiracy to defraud.

Five other Filipinos involved in the case had been convicted earlier at the Magistrates Court of making false representation to an immigration officer and breach of condition of stay.

In a media briefing conducted after Osias’ conviction, immigration officers said the Filipina made up false employers, used illegally obtained copies of Hong Kong identification cards and forged documents to help the Filipinos obtain domestic helper visas.
The activities of Osias, a 55-year-old Hong Kong resident, had been under Immigration scrutiny since December 2017, when the department detected several suspicious pay-TV service bills submitted for FDH visa applications through D’Sun Employment.

It turned out Osias had been using the pay TV bills as proof of residence for several FDH applicants with different addresses but with the same bill account number.

After months of in-depth investigation, a syndicate with Osias as the mastermind was identified as having arranged for Filipinos to work in Hong Kong illegally by using false FDH contracts.
In March 2018, the Immigration Department arrested 14 persons, including Osias, four other Hong Kong residents and nine Filipinos who had applied for the FDH visas using falsified documents.

Two computers and a considerable number of false instruments were seized, including originals and copies of forged bank statements and pay-TV service bills.

Investigators discovered Osias used unlawfully obtained Hong Kong ID card copies and false salary and residential proof, such as forged bank statements, electricity and gas bills, as well as telecoms service and pay-TV service bills to apply for FDH working visas.
Osias was prosecuted and sentenced to 24 months in prison after she pleaded guilty to six counts of conspiracy to defraud and five counts of using copies of false instruments.

Of the bogus FDHs arrested, five were prosecuted and convicted of making false representation to an immigration officer and breach of condition of stay. They were given various sentences, with the longest being four months in jail.

Investigation of the other suspects is continuing, Immigration said.

An Immigration spokesman said in a press release that those who make, possess or use fake documents or conspire to do the same, are liable to a maximum penalty of 14 years' imprisonment.

Those who make false representation to an immigration officer, on the other hand, face imprisonment of up to 14 years, and a maximum fine of $150,000.

Immigration officers said at the briefing that 23 people have been arrested so far this year for fake domestic helper contracts, a marked increase from the 33 arrested for the same offence for the whole of last year. 
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