A couple has been arrested by judiciary police in Macau after they were found to be making money “helping” migrant workers to apply for work visas.

A 30-year-old local man surnamed Alfonso and his wife, a 30-year-old woman surnamed Remigio, who holds a Philippines passport, were arrested early this month after the police discovered unusual details on their work visa application for a domestic worker, Macao Daily News reported.

An investigation revealed that the couple had applied 20 times for domestic workers between 2013 to 2018.

They had employed eight men and 12 women from India, Nepal, the Philippines and other countries as domestic workers. But once each worker got a working visa, the couple terminated their contract with them in a short period of time.

Police suspect the couple faked hiring these migrant workers so the individuals could stay and work in Macau.

Police raided the couple’s home in Centro area on January 3 and found the apartment was untidy and dirty, as they had no domestic worker to keep it clean.

The couple was taken to a police station for further questioning. They subsequently admitted that they received 10,000 to 20,000 Macau patacas (US$1,241 to $2,483) from each of the migrant workers who wanted to extend their stay and work in the city.

The pair had received a total of 144,000 Macau patacas over the years for the workers they assisted, Jornal Va Kio reported.

The female defendant was allegedly responsible for looking for migrant workers whose work visas were due to expire soon and telling them that they could help with work visa applications, while the male suspect was allegedly responsible for each worker’s visa application.

Police arrested the two people and charged them with forgery. They were sent to the public prosecution office for further action.