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Filipina tourist jailed 12 weeks for overstaying nearly 4 years in HK

01 March 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao 

The overstaying Filipina tourist was given a reduced sentence for pleading guilty

A Filipina tourist was jailed for 12 weeks today, Mar 1, after she pleaded guilty in Shatin Court to breaching her condition of stay for overstaying for nearly four years.

Defendant Alma Teves, 42, was sentenced by Magistrate Jason Wan, who said the offence she committed was serious so she had to be put in jail.

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But because of her guilty plea, Teves was given a discount of 200 days from the prescribed sentence for her offence.

According to the prosecution, the Filipina was arrested by police on Feb 22 during operations against illegal workers.

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A check of Teves’ immigration status showed that she came to Hong Kong on Apr 5, 2017 as a visitor and was allowed to stay for only 14 days, or until Apr 19.

The defendant, however, overstayed for three years and 10 months until she was arrested. The circumstances of her arrest were not disclosed. But the court heard that this was the first time she had visited Hong Kong.


The prosecutor said Teves had a clear record.

In mitigation, the defense counsel from the Duty Lawyer Service said Teves is married to a 47-year-old driver and they have a 12-year-old son and a 21-year-old daughter.


The lawyer said all that Teves wanted to do now was to return to her family in the Philippines as soon as possible.

The counsel appealed to Magistrate Wan to grant the 200-day waiver of the prescribed sentence so her client could go home early. The magistrate granted the request after the prosecution did not object.

Immigration has often warned people with temporary visas in Hong Kong not to breach their conditions of stay by overstaying or taking up employment, whether paid or unpaid, without the permission of the Immigration Director.

Offenders are liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, face a maximum fine of $50,000 and up to two years’ imprisonment. Aiders and abettors are also liable to prosecution and penalties.


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