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HK woman to be charged with giving fake documents to 2 Pinays applying for UK jobs

04 January 2019

By Vir B. Lumicao 

A Hong Kong woman who allegedly provided two Filipina domestic workers fake documents to support their application for work visa to the United Kingdom two years ago will be charged in court on Jan. 17, prosecutors said.

The new development led to a delay until May 6 of the sentencing of Criselda Bantasan, 31; and Cristy Par, 47; who have pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to use copies of the “false instruments.”

They were originally set to be sentenced today, Jan 4 at the District Court.

“I expect that the world will be happy for another adjournment,” Judge Li Chi-ho said after the prosecutor disclosed the arrest of Chan and applied for a delay in the sentencing.

Only Bantasan appeared in court on Jan 4.

When the hearing got under way, the prosecutor updated Judge Li on the developments in the case since the last hearing on Oct 4 last year.

She said the prosecution obtained further statements from Bantasan and Par that led to the arrest of Chan.

The prosecutor said that last November, the defendants identified Chan in a video of the alleged Hong Kong link of a Manila-based visa scam.

Chan will be charged in Eastern Court and prosecution estimated it will take two months before the case is elevated to the District Court.

During the Oct. 5 hearing, defense lawyer Melville Boase asked for an adjournment to Jan 4, saying there is a Manila-based syndicate that offers Filipinos here spurious jobs in Britain and supplies them with fake documents to support their applications.

Boase described Bantasan as a victim who had been helping police since day one and continues to do so to nail down the syndicate members who conned her.

He said the single mother, who has a 13-year-old son in senior high school, used PhP300,000 of her savings to pay a recruitment agency in Manila and Chan, for the work visa to Britain.

Par’s lawyer said his client also cooperated with the police and was willing to identify Chan, who at the time had already been arrested.

The court was told that after arresting Chan, the police raided her flat and seized more forged documents. But Chan’s partner, a black man named Ronnie, avoided arrest by going to the Philippines.

Ronnie allegedly provided Bantasan and Par with the forged documents, particularly the passports and bank statements of their employers, that were believed to have been fabricated in Manila.

The two women presented those documents to staff of the United Kingdom Visa Processing Centre at Leighton Centre in Causeway Bay on separate dates in 2016.

Boase said at the time that Bantasan was enticed by a Filipina helper in Hong Kong surnamed Chua to apply through the Manila agency for a helper job in Britain that paid 1,000 pounds a month.

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