Hong Kong asylum seekers deny defrauding NGO
Six were accused of falsely claiming rent for five premises in Fanling
Six asylum seekers and torture claimants on Wednesday denied defrauding an international NGO out of more than HK$190,000 in rent and utilities payments at Tsuen Wan Court.
The case arose from a corruption complaint, and centred on allowances provided by the International Social Service Hong Kong Branch (ISS), which has since 2006 been entrusted by the Social Welfare Department to support asylum seekers.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption said the six men falsely represented to the organisation that they had rented five premises in Fanling from three landlords, with the intent to defraud and induce ISS to pay the landlords’ bank accounts more than HK$190,000.
The alleged offences spanned almost four years from March 18, 2010 to February 13, 2014.
Pretrial reviews are listed for October 13, after the six defendants each pleaded not guilty to one count of fraud in separate cases brought before acting principal magistrate Cheang Kei-hong.
All six were released on bail.
They are Almas, 41, Khalil, 31, MD Mozibur Rahman, 42, Nazmul Huda, 33, Sauj Mondol, 31, and Sumon Numan, 37.