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Manila syndicate behind UK visa scam in HK, court told

25 October 2019

By Vir B. Lumicao

The 2 Filipinas will testify in District Court vs the HK woman accused of working for the visa scam gang

Two Filipinas who have admitted conspiring to use fake documents to apply for a British work visa will testify at the trial of a woman who is allegedly the local connection of the Manila-based syndicate behind the scam.

This is according to prosecutors who said the woman, identified only as Ms Chan,
will be tried in District Court around mid-January.
Due to this development, the sentencing of Criselda Bantasan, 31, and Cristy Par, 47, who both have pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge, was delayed until Mar 3 next year. They were supposed to be sentenced on Oct 24.

The prosecutor told Judge Li Chi-ho that Bantasan and Par provided information that led to the arrest of Chan, who ran an agency in Hong Kong recruiting applicants for purported jobs abroad.
In November last year, Bantasan and Par identified Chan in a video of the alleged Hong Kong link of the Manila syndicate that was behind the visa scam.

Chan was charged in Eastern Court after her arrest. Her case was moved to the District Court this year.

Solicitor Melville Boase, who represented the two Filipinas, told the court in an earlier hearing about the Manila-based syndicate that offers Filipinos here spurious jobs in Britain and supplies them with fake documents to support their applications.

Boase said Bantasan was a victim who had been helping police since day one to identify the syndicate members who conned her.

Judge Li extended the bail of Bantasan and Par until their next hearing on Mar 3. He
also granted Bantasan’s request to change her reporting from the Kwun Tong Police to the Western Police Station in Sai Ying Pun.

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