Four men were jailed by a Sha Tin Magistrates’ Court on Friday after being caught in a raid by Immigration officers.

The men – an Indian, two Nepalese and a Vietnamese, aged from 25 to 48 – were sentenced 15 months in jail, according to a government statement published on Monday.

Immigration officers raided a restaurant in Aberdeen on Hong Kong Island and another in Tin Shui Wai in the New Territories on October 19 and November 14 and found the men working as waiters and dish washers.

When asked for identity documents, the men only presented forms known as “going-out passes”. It was later found that all were asylum seekers, people permitted to stay in Hong Kong but not to work.

Two employers were arrested separately for illegal hiring.

Hong Kong does not grant refugees asylum, but allows them to stay in the city while their applications are assessed. But some people use the application system as a means to remain and work illegally.

Read: Six foreigners given 15 months in jail for illegal work