Consul General Antonio Morales of the Philippine consulate general in Hong Kong said the three Filipino tourists are expected to be released in March after serving a reduced sentence for pleading guilty to two counts of “using a false instrument” before the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts.
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3 Filipino tourists get prison term in Hong Kong
Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - February 22, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Three call center employees have been sentenced to a five-month prison term after their “free Hong Kong tour” turned out to be a scam to open bank accounts using forged documents, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

Consul General Antonio Morales of the Philippine consulate general in Hong Kong said the three Filipino tourists are expected to be released in March after serving a reduced sentence for pleading guilty to two counts of “using a false instrument” before the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts.

Morales added that the consulate general has been providing in-kind support and legal advice to the three Filipinos, including jail visits to ascertain their condition.

The three went to Hong Kong in October and, using forged documents, opened bank accounts at the Bank of China and Standard Chartered Bank, which authorities suspect would be used for money laundering.

Despite successfully opening an account, bank officials became suspicious and they were arrested when they returned to the Bank of China on Oct. 12.

Orderly repatriation

Meanwhile, the DFA, in the spirit of friendly relations between the Philippines and Israel, has asked the latter to treat overstaying Filipinos who need to be repatriated in an orderly and humane manner, especially since children may be involved.

The deportation of Filipino mothers and their children was raised by the DFA with Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Director General Gilad Cohen during his meeting with Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Middle East and African Affairs Leslie Baja on Wednesday. The issue was discussed at the sidelines of the annual bilateral consultations between the Philippines and Israel.

Baja added that Filipino workers have a responsibility to observe immigration laws of the host government.

The Philippine embassy in Tel Aviv is also coordinating with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration for additional welfare and re-integration assistance.

DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS MONEY LAUNDERING STANDARD CHARTERED BANK
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