The Shatin Magistrates’ Court in the New Territories. Photo: Google Maps

Two asylum seekers were sentenced to 15 months in prison at Shatin Magistrates’ Court on Thursday for working illegally.

A 55-year-old Vietnamese man was caught by Immigration Department officers on August 22 while washing dishes in a restaurant in Tuen Mun, the New Territories, according to a government release.

When checking, officers found that the man is an asylum seeker, who is not allowed to work in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, the local identity card he presented to the officers was suspected to be forged.

The employer suspected of hiring was arrested and the investigation is going on.

Meanwhile, Immigration officers also received a case from the police, which led to them arresting a Bangladeshi man who was also an asylum seeker. The man, aged 38, was caught while conveying goods to a vegetable stall in Tai Po, in the New Territories.

Both men pleaded guilty in the court to working illegally and were sentenced to 15 months in jail.

Asylum seekers are prohibited from doing any work, whether paid or unpaid, during their stay in Hong Kong.