Illegal immigrant caught after 28 years in Hong Kong

March 6th, 2009 - 11:40 am ICT by IANS  

Hong Kong, March 6 (DPA) Hong Kong officials are considering whether to send home an illegal immigrant who lived undetected in the wealthy former British colony for 28 years, a news report said Friday.
Wong Shen-chee, who is now 71, arrived from Indonesia in 1981 on a 90-day visitor visa and has never left the high-rise city of seven million since, the South China Morning Post reported.

He avoided detection by taking only low-paid, part-time jobs in restaurants and was unable to get hospital treatment for lung and kidney conditions because of his illegal status.

Wong fell on hard times and was arrested for stealing milk powder in a supermarket in February. He had only 500 Hong Kong dollars ($64) left when police arrested him.

At a court hearing Thursday, Wong pleaded guilty to theft and overstaying his visa, the Post reported. He was fined 200 Hong Kong dollars ($25) and jailed for six months.

Magistrate Andrew Ma said Wong might have to be deported back to Indonesia at the end of his sentence, though he admitted he might face difficulties adapting back to life in his home country.

A decision on whether to allow Wong to remain in Hong Kong is expected to be taken at a later date.

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