Home Crime 18 Arrested in Crackdown on Domestic Helper Employment Documents Scam

18 Arrested in Crackdown on Domestic Helper Employment Documents Scam

Fake Domestic Helpers' Employment Documents Syndicate

In a major crackdown on immigration fraud, Hong Kong’s Immigration Department has arrested 18 individuals connected to a syndicate that provided forged employment documents to overseas workers, allowing them to illegally obtain foreign domestic helper visas and seek employment in the city.

The operation was allegedly led by a 63-year-old woman who has now been sentenced to 41 months in jail. Fourteen of the arrested individuals were illegal foreign workers, including 5 men and 9 women aged 33 to 51, with 6 of them already convicted and imprisoned.

Two employers and a 59-year-old Hong Kong man were also apprehended, with the local man receiving a 15-month prison sentence for assisting the syndicate in obtaining personal information and false documents.

According to Chief Immigration Officer Chan Chi-wai of the Foreign Domestic Helpers Special Investigation unit, the syndicate had been operating for 4 years and had earned over HK$1 million from the scheme.

“They posed as a foreign domestic helper agency and submitted visa applications using forged supporting documents, such as electricity bills, water bills and bank statements that contained identical information across multiple employers,” Chan explained.

The department identified around 40 related cases involving 26 overseas workers, seizing over 100 pieces of evidence, including mobile phones, computers, and a large number of false documents and contracts.

The illegal workers, who did not qualify as domestic helpers but wanted to work in Hong Kong, allegedly paid the syndicate HK$40,000 per person to apply for the fraudulent visas. The mastermind would then obtain personal information and create fake documents to submit the applications.

“When immigration officers suspected the authenticity of the documents, the applications would be withdrawn,” Chan said.

This crackdown on the visa fraud syndicate underscores the Immigration Department’s commitment to maintaining the integrity of Hong Kong’s immigration system and protecting the rights of foreign domestic helpers. Authorities have vowed to continue their pursuit of those exploiting the system for personal gain.