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More details emerge in fake jobs scam involving Pinoys and Indons

12 June 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao

FDHs are warned that it is illegal to use fake documents, lie to Immigration, and do non-domestic work

Sometime in February 2015, Filipina domestic worker Rose Alarcio went to JS Employment Agency in Yuen Long looking for an employer.

A friend had referred her to a certain “Susan”, described in court later as a director of the agency.

Susan offered to arrange a false domestic helper contract for Alarcio in exchange for a $30,000 fee. Susan told the Filipina she was not required to work for her contractual employer once her visa application was approved.

Pindutin para sa detalye
Alarcio accepted the offer and after a few days, she returned to the agency where she paid $15,000 to Susan. She signed on a blank visa application form and on a contract given by Susan. She also gave her passport and some photos to Susan for processing.

Later that month, Alarcio, 48, was told by Susan that her visa was ready for collection. The maid returned to the agency and paid another $15,000 to Susan, who coached her to tell, if anyone asked, that she was working for her contractual employer.

Accompanied by an agency staff, the helper went to the Immigration Department and collected her approved domestic helper visa. But she never worked for her contractual employer, Cheung Tsz-kin, at 31A Tong To Shan, Sha Tau Kok, New Territories.

On Aug 19, 2015, Alarcio presented her passport for arrival clearance bearing the employment visa as domestic helper for Cheung. She was allowed to remain in Hong Kong by virtue of that visa until Feb 26, 2017.

Two years earlier, or in July 2013, Indonesian helper Rohaela, 43, was introduced by her relative to Susan because she got fired and was looking for an employer. Her visa application was filed on Jul 25, 2013.

Rohaela obtained her domestic helper visa through Susan’s false employment contract scheme on Aug 21, 2013, with Tang Wah-fai of 2/F, 91 Oak St, Tai Kok Tsui, Kowloon signing as her contractual employer.
On Aug 25, 2013, the maid arrived in Hong Kong to work for Tang and was allowed to remain until Aug 25, 2015.  She entered the city one more time on Jan 25, 2014 and was permitted to remain here to work for Tang until Aug 25, 2015.

Another Indonesian maid, Dwijayanti Ayun, 31, got her domestic helper visa through the same scheme offered by Susan at a cost of $40,000.

Her visa application to work for Sin Chi-fai at 24, G/F, Ha Kwai Chung Village, Kwai Chung, was received by the Immigration Department in January 2016 and was approved on Feb 25, 2016.
She presented her passport with the visa for clearance after arriving from Macau on Feb 29, 2016 and was allowed to remain until Feb 28, 2018.

In March 2018, Immigration investigators launched “Operation Shadowcatcher” after suspecting that a number of Filipino and Indonesian domestic helpers had obtained work visas by submitting false employment contracts supported by forged bank statements, telecommunications service bills and water bills.

Ayun was among the first to be arrested in connection with the fake employment contract scam. She was invited by Immigration officers on Mar 28, 2018 after she was suspected of using a false employment contract to obtain a visa.


Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love.

Her contractual employer, Sin, denied he lived in the address in Kwai Chung Village. He said he never employed a maid and never signed any work contract and visa forms.

While the case was under investigation, Ayun married her boyfriend, a Hong Kong permanent resident, and obtained a dependant visa.

Roahela was arrested on Apr 8, when Immigration agents found her dwelling place. She was investigated at the Immigration Department where she revealed the bogus employment contract scheme by Susan.

The officers also investigated Tang, who denied he ever lived in the Tai Kok Tsui address, or employed any domestic helper. He also said he never signed an employment contract or visa form for a helper and had no knowledge of the supporting documents.  

Alarcio was arrested at her address on Apr 24, 2018 and investigated further at Immigration, where she told the same story about Susan.

Acting on the information they provided the investigators, the authorities pounced on the suspected mastermind of the bogus jobs scam, who was only listed on the court list as S.W.C. during the District Court trial of the case in May.

Ayun, Rohaela and Alarcio gave evidence as prosecution witnesses during the trial.

In separate hearings of their conspiracy to defraud cases in Shatin Court, they pleaded guilty to the charge and were sentenced on Jun 10 to three months in jail, a discount of 50%, for helping in the investigation and prosecution of the scam’s mastermind.

On May 29, Susan or S.W.C., was convicted of three counts of conspiracy to defraud and five counts of using false instruments, and was sentenced to 43 months’ imprisonment.

More than 30 people have been arrested over the visa scam

Another 17 Indonesian and Filipino domestic helpers involved in the case had been convicted in Shatin Court earlier for offences of conspiracy to defraud, making false representation to an immigration officer and breach of condition of stay.


They were sentenced to up to eight months in jail, according to an Immigration press release.

More than 30 people have reportedly been arrested in the jobs scam, and the investigation is continuing.

Immigration warns that making, possessing or using false instruments is an offence, for which those found liable could be jailed for up to 14 years. The same penalty applies to those involved in a conspiracy to defraud.

Likewise, a foreign domestic helper who does illegal work could be prosecuted, and upon conviction, sentenced to a maximum fine of $50,000 and two years’ imprisonment. Aiders and abettors could likewise be held liable.

The offence of making false representation to an immigration officer is more serious, as the maximum penalty is 14 years in jail and a fine of $150,000.

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