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4 Indonesian DHs arrested for illegal dental work

16 April 2021

By Daisy C L Mandap 

Many pseudo dentists advertise their services on social media

Four Indonesian domestic helpers who allegedly used a room in a guest house during Sundays and holidays to clean teeth and install dental braces on their fellow workers were arrested on Thursday and Friday by Immigration officers.

A statement released late on Friday in the government website said the Indonesians, aged between 31 to 35 years old, were arrested for breaching their conditions of stay by practicing dentistry without a license.


The domestic helpers were reportedly picked up in their employers’ houses. Seized from them were several items, including business cards and an account book.

The illicit operation had reportedly been carried out by the accused for more than a year in a Mong Kok guesthouse.


The government statement said Immigration was tipped off about the illicit operation, but was not given names or the specific times when the dental services were provided.

But “after an in-depth investigation and intelligence analysis,” Immigration officers managed to identify the suspects and track them down.

A Philippine TV documentary shows the ill-effects of having braces installed by hacks

Preliminary investigations reportedly showed that the helpers never received any formal dental training. Their employers were not aware of their illegal activity.

The statement said the investigation is ongoing, and that there is a possibility that more people will be arrested.

Pindutin para sa detalye

“The arrested helpers have breached their conditions of stay. Apart from that, practicing dentistry without registration will also threaten the health and lives of Hong Kong citizens and will very likely increase the risk of the spread of the epidemic. The situation is absolutely unacceptable,” said the statement.

It also urged people who report crimes to provide more information to speed up the enforcement and investigation by authorities.

The selling of brackets, nylon binds and other equipment used for braces, as well as offers of brace installation, are often seen in social media posts by FDHs, including Filipinos.

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According to some posts on popular FDH sites, the brace installations are carried out in public openly, including on the pavements of Central.

The illegal practice continues despite warnings from dentists, including those in the Philippines, about the dangers of getting someone untrained to do the delicate procedure, which could lead to inflamed gums and tooth loss.

Construction sites were among the targeted locations

Meanwhile, Immigration today issued a statement on the government website that a total of 17 suspected illegal workers, including eight holders of recognizance documents, were arrested during joint operations with police between Apr 12 to 15.


Ten suspected employers were also detained.

In two raids codenamed “Twilight” and “Rally”, 35 premises were targeted, including a commercial building, construction sites, factories, massage parlors, recycling depots, residential buildings, restaurants, retail shops, a salon and a warehouse.

Pindutin para sa detalye

Six men and four women, aged 22 to 57, were arrested for suspected illegal work. Four were found to have recognizance status, while the rest were suspected of using and possessing forged HK ID cards.

Five men and one woman, aged 31 to 58, suspected of employing the illegal workers, were also arrested.

In a much bigger operation codenamed "Champion" and "Powerplayer",  136 premises were targeted including the airport cargo terminal, loading and unloading platforms in the New Territories and Western District, massage parlours, offices, a park and warehouses.

The operation netted five men and two women, aged 31 to 56, suspected of doing illegal work. Four of the men were on recognizance.

One man and three women, aged 40 to 54, were also arrested on suspicion of employing the illegal workers.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong 

The Immigration statement warned that visitors who take up illegal work, whether paid or unpaid, could be liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and up to two years’ imprisonment.

Illegal immigrants or those subject to a removal or deportation order who are found to engage in illegal work face a stiffer penalty of up to three years in jail and a maximum fine of $50,000.

For people who hire illegal workers, a steep fine of up to $350,000 is prescribed, apart from a maximum jail term of three years.


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