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Two DHs seek lenient sentence after alleged leader of fake documents ring acquitted

23 July 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao

The District Court judge did not believe the Filipinas' testimony against the alleged mastermind of the scam

Two Filipina domestic helpers who admitted conspiring to use fake documents to apply for British work visa have pleaded leniency ahead of their sentencing in Shatin court.

Criselda Bantasan, 31, and Cristy Par, 47, were originally scheduled for sentencing today, Jul 23, at the District Court but Judge Li Chi-ho decided to postpone their sentencing until Aug 4, and move it to the Shatin magistracy.

The Filipinas testified in the District Court against the alleged mastermind of the scam, who was, however acquitted, after the judge expressed doubts about their evidence.

Pindutin para sa detalye

Defense lawyer Teddy Lam, for Bantasan, pleaded for a lenient sentence for his client, saying she had already suffered she had been unable to work for the past 18 months. If she were not granted bail, she would have served her sentence by now.

Lam pointed out that his client was a victim who lost $3,000 when she applied for a job in Britain for which the Manila-based syndicate had produced the fake documents.

He said Bantasan has been staying in a shelter in Kennedy Town for the past 18 months, and lives off the monthly donation of $120 she receives from fellow domestic workers and friends.
Lam said Bantasan needs to return to her family in the Philippines at the earliest possible time to take care of her mother. He said Bantasan’s father died last year but she could not attend the funeral because of the pending case.

Lawyer Vivian Chan, representing Par, also asked for “the most lenient sentence” for her client, who she said was also a victim of the syndicate and whom her employers described as “the best domestic helper” they ever had.
Chan said the defendant continued to live in her employers’ home but cannot work for pay because although her permit to stay was extended, her employment visa was not.

She said the employers like Par very much that all members of the household were at today’s hearing.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love

Bantasan and Par were charged with “conspiracy to use copies of false instruments” on Feb 22, 2018 after their arrests for submitting forged employers’ documents at the UK Visa Application Centre at Leighton Centre in Causeway Bay in April and May 2016.

The two women were applying for jobs as domestic helpers in Britain at an agency operated by a certain Mrs Chan. 

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