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Hong Kong resident jailed for using false birth certificate
     A Hong Kong resident charged with two counts of using a false instrument and one count of possessing a false instrument was sentenced to three months' imprisonment today (October 14) by the Shatin Magistrates' Courts. This is the Immigration Department's (ImmD) first case of its kind related to a false birth certificate since the Employment (Amendment) Ordinance 2020 took effect on December 11, 2020, for the extended four weeks' statutory maternity leave.

     The ImmD received an enquiry earlier from a company about the authenticity of a birth certificate submitted by a staff member (defendant) in her maternity leave application. After verification, the ImmD found that the information on the birth certificate was different from that of the record. After further clarification from the defendant's company, the ImmD suspected that the defendant had altered the date of birth on the birth certificate of her son, intending to deceive her company for the extended four weeks' maternity leave provided in the Employment (Amendment) Ordinance 2020. The ImmD thus conducted an investigation against the defendant. Upon enforcement action, the defendant, a female aged 38, was arrested in her residential premises with the copy of the correct birth certificate and a copy of the forged birth certificate with the altered date of birth seized. After an in-depth investigation, the defendant was charged with the offences of using and being in possession of a false instrument. The defendant had earlier pleaded guilty to two counts against her of using a false instrument, and was sentenced today at the Shatin Magistrates' Courts. She was sentenced to three months' imprisonment for each charge, and the sentences are to run concurrently.

     "Under the laws of Hong Kong, any person who makes, uses or has in his/her custody a false instrument commits an offence and is liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, subject to imprisonment for 14 years," an ImmD spokesman said.
Ends/Friday, October 14, 2022
Issued at HKT 19:45
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