Three asylum seekers were sentenced to between 15 and 18 months in prison by the Sha Tin Magistrates Court on Friday after being found guilty of working illegally in Hong Kong, according to a government statement published on Monday.

Two female asylum seekers from Indonesia aged 34 and 43 were caught by officers from the Immigration Department on July 3 as they worked in a restaurant in Yuen Long in the New Territories.

Immigration officers also investigated a case of illegal employment in September after receiving referrals from police. Officers arrested a Pakistani man as he was conveying goods in Kowloon Bay in Kowloon.

Two employers suspected of hiring illegal workers were also arrested and the investigation is ongoing.

After the trial at the Shatin Magistrates’ Court, the two Indonesian women were sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment, while the Pakistani man was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

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