The Sha Tin Magistrates’ Court where the case was heard. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The Sha Tin Magistrates’ Court. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Three asylum seekers, one each from India, Thailand and Vietnam, were jailed at Shatin Magistrates’ Court on Friday after being caught up in Immigration Department raids.

The three were sent to jail for 15 months, according to a government release.

A 25-year-old Indian male was arrested in May when he was found doing renovation work in a shop in Yuen Long, the New Territories.

On July 3, a 32-year-old Thai man and a 44-year-old Vietnamese man were arrested in a restaurant in Tsuen Wan, the New Territories, where they were doing cooking and cleaning work.

In addition, one of them was suspected of using and being in possession of a forged identity card.

Asylum seekers are permitted to stay in Hong Kong while their applications are being assessed, but are forbidden from taking on any work, paid or unpaid.

Two employers suspected of employing the illegal workers were also arrested and investigations are said to be ongoing.

The Immigration Department conducts conduct initial screening on vulnerable persons, including illegal workers, illegal immigrants, sex workers and foreign domestic workers, who are arrested during any operation, with a view to ascertaining whether they are victims of trafficking in persons (TIP).

Identified TIP victims will be provided with support and assistance, including medical services, shelter and temporary accommodation.