The Sha Tin Magistrates' Courts. Photo: Google Maps

A 31-year-old Pakistani man found to have been working illegally in Hong Kong was jailed by Shatin Magistrates’ Court on March 23.

The man, who is an asylum seeker, pleaded guilty to one count of illegal working and was sentenced to 15 months in jail, according to a government release.

He was caught by police and immigration officers in Mong Kok, in the city’s Kowloon district, on Mong Kok. They found him constructing a temporary booth for a street vendor.

A spokesman for the Immigration Department warned that, as stipulated in Section 38AA of the Immigration Ordinance, illegal immigrants, or people who are the subject of a removal order, or a deportation order, are prohibited from taking any employment, whether paid or unpaid, or establishing or joining in any business. Offenders are liable upon conviction to a maximum fine of HK$50,000 (US$6,400) and up to three years’ imprisonment.

The Court of Appeal had issued a guideline ruling that a sentence of 15 months’ imprisonment should be applied in such cases.

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