Man jailed in employment visas fraud case

    A Hong Kong resident of Filipino origin was today (April 22) jailed for six months after being convicted at the Sha Tin Magistrates' Court of conspiracy to defraud the Immigration Department.

    William M Toledo, 48, was charged with 11 counts of conspiracy to defraud and was convicted on 10 of them. 

    In 2004 and 2005, the defendant had, during recruitment interviews in the Philippines, agreed to offer 11 Filipinos employment as Process Engineers at a Hong Kong company with a monthly salary of HK$10,000. The defendant later demanded the 11 people sign employment contracts with monthly salaries ranging from HK$18,000 to HK$21,000 for facilitating the assessment of their employment visas by the Immigration Department.

    An Immigration Department spokesman reminded employers that they should not import cheap labour by illegal means in order to cut expenditure, thus reducing job opportunities for the local workers.

    Anyone who commits the offence of conspiracy to defraud is liable to prosecution and on conviction the maximum penalty is imprisonment for 14 years.

    Under the laws of Hong Kong, any person who makes false representation to an Immigration Service member commits an offence and is liable upon conviction to a maximum fine of $150,000 and imprisonment for 14 years.  Aiders and abettors are also liable to prosecution and penalty.

Ends/Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Issued at HKT 17:40