Immigration Tower, Wan Chai, Hong Kong. Photo: Google Maps

Seven Indian men who entered Hong Kong by posing as players for an Indian hockey team and were later found to have overstayed were given jail sentences of at least seven months and two weeks by a Shatin Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

The seven defendants, who had lodged claims for asylum, were identified as Ivinder Singh Dhessi, 32, Amandeep Singh Bhare, 29, Gursharan Singh, 28, Rupinderjeet Singh Dhaliwal, 29, Karamjeet Singh, 29, Ranjodh Singh, 23, and Preetpal Singh, 30, according to court documents cited by the Oriental Daily newspaper.

All seven men pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud. It was discovered  by Immigration Department that they had not been involved in any hockey activities during their stay in the city.

Between January and March 2016, they were arrested for giving false representation to immigration officers. The defendants admitted to the police that they had disguised themselves as hockey players and entered Hong Kong with a hockey team, Apple Daily reported.

The 13 bona fide members of the hockey team departed Hong Kong before their limit of stay expired.