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 1.1 How to Spot Counterfeit Banknotes
AFRO has received complaints regarding customers paying with counterfeit banknotes or foreign money that resembles HKD’s banknotes after receiving sexual services from many sisters. Since their rooms are usually dimly lit and the customers hurried to leave, when the sisters discovered that they were counterfeit, the criminals were long gone. In light of this, AFRO decided to take reference of Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s 2010 Guidelines on Prevention of Counterfeit Bank-notes, and categorized the features into 7 main points to help you spot a counterfeit.
  1. Dynamic Colour-changing Pattern: colour shifting between green and gold with a shimmering horizontal bar seen to be rolling up and down when the note is tilted
  2. Colour-changing Windowed Metallic Thread: colour shifting between magenta and green and the "H" and "K" on the thread are made up of microtext
  3. Standardised Enhanced Watermark: comprising a multi-tonal watermark of a bauhinia flower and highlight watermark of the denomination numeral and dot pattern, a standardised design for the three note-issuing banks
  4. Concealed Denomination: Hidden in background patterns.
  5. Iridescent Pattern: Shimmering when the note is tilted under a bright light.
  6. Enhanced Watermarks: The watermarks of the three note-issuing banks are standardized. Multi-tonal watermark of a bauhinia flower, highlight watermark of the denomination numeral and dot pattern can be seen when the note is held up to the light.
  7. Fluorescent See-through Pattern: The patterns on the front and back fit perfectly when the note is held up to the light. When the note is put under ultraviolet light, two fluorescent colours appear.
Sisters should remain vigilant and pay attention to whether the banknotes are circulating currency of Hong Kong. You should also prevent receiving banknotes with unknown origins. If ever you are suspected of using counterfeit, the bank will require you to fill in a form that indicates your approval for turning the banknotes in to the police for verification. If they are found to be counterfeit, the police will seize them as evidence, and the owner of the counterfeit will be solely responsible for the loss. In Hong Kong, possession and use of counterfeit with prior knowledge carries a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment. To protect sisters from scams, you are strongly advised to receive payment before proceeding to provide services. Should you have any questions, you should call AFRO’s hotline.
2. AFRO’s Work

2.1 AFRO's AGM

AFRO’s Annual General Meeting of 2018 has been held on 24 January. Apart from presentation of work and financial reports (of July 2016 to June 2017) from the chairperson and executive director, the new term of executive committee was also elected.
Members of the new term of executive committee are as follows,
Chairperson: Dr Francois FONG
Vice-Chairperson: Ms. Winnie YUEN
Finance:Ms. Francis PANG
Secretary:Mr. Jason LAU
Committee:Ms. Moyreen Gillian TILBROOK, Mr. KAM Man Fai
Term of Office: 2 years
We hereby give our most sincere gratitude to our committee members from last term for their hard work and sacrifice.
2.3 Special Thanks
AFRO gratefully received continuous support from Sir Robert Ho Tung Charitable Fund and AIDS Trust Fund, for funding the renovation of our pantry and for providing HIV combination prevention services to female sex workers. The former will be completed in March and the latter will begin in April, effective for 2 years. Apart from that, we would also like to thank Ng Teng Fong Charitable Foundation for their generous donation of $100,000 HKD.
3. Upcoming Events

3.1 AFRO Lunar New Year’s Gathering 2018
Lunar New Year is a time for celebration. How can AFRO not spend it with all of you. This year, let us gather and celebrate for a new year of security and prosperity.
Dates:2 March, 2018 (Friday)
Time: 2-4pm
Location : Kwun Tong
Fee: $50 (member) / $80 (non-member)
For Enquiry and Registration: 27701002
4. AFRO News Reading

American tourist seeking sex in Hong Kong gets caught up in major anti-vice raid instead
30 Jan 2018
The 30-year-old man was back at the scene on Argyle Street in Mong Kok on Tuesday when he spoke to the Post on condition of anonymity about the police raid that netted nearly 100 suspected sex workers operating out of individual cubicles carved out of subdivided flats.

He said he had ended up at the 14-storey King Hing Building out of curiosity “as a single man” at around 8pm on Monday night.

“My Chinese friend told me: ‘You want to find girls? This place has a lot of girls; if you want to do it, it’s the place to go’,” he said. After knocking on one door after another on several floors and asking for a price, he found “the one”.

“I went up and down and then I found an attractive girl. She was from Thailand,” he said, standing in one of the corridors. “We didn’t get very far and then things started happening.”

A screen in the room showing security footage of the corridor outside suddenly blacked out, he recalled, and they heard people yelling in Cantonese, along with loud banging noises.

That “must have been sledgehammers going through the doors”, he said. “It was pretty intense. She told me it was people fighting. I didn’t know what was happening until the police came in.”

A police officer barged into the room, asking the man if he had had sex with the woman, which he denied. After inspecting his passport, the officer had told him to “get out of there before he changed his mind”. 

The man said he was supposed to pay HK$400 (US$51) upfront to the woman, which he did not, and had no idea what had happened to her after he left.

Almost all floors of the building were left empty on Tuesday, while some doors with fluorescent pink lights adorning their frames had been broken down.

An advertisement outside one door showed a picture of a scantily clad Asian woman, with the words: “[HK$]450, different uniforms available.”

Another poster said: “New foreign girls. Real Russians. Great service.”

Investigators said at least two 14K triad-linked prostitution syndicates had arranged for the 99 suspects to work and provide sex services in the “one-woman” brothels.

With the help of immigration officers on Monday night, police detained 17 Russians, seven Thai transgender women, two women from Ukraine, one from Kazakhstan, 13 from Thailand and 59 female visitors from the mainland, the force said.

There were three to five flats on every floor, with some subdivided into five cubicles, some as large as 70 sq ft with attached toilets. In one dimly lit room, a pack of unused condoms and a tube of lubricant lay on the table.

Why was the man – who said he regretted entering the building on Monday night – there for a second day? To collect his watch, which he had left behind in the brothel, he said. The room was padlocked.

Recently, police have been sweeping buildings with many operating one-sex worker apartments. Many sex workers who hold tourist visas have been arrested.
We have also received inquiries regarding the legality of “one-sex worker apartments”.
According to the laws, a sex worker (with valid H.K.I.D. card, condition of stay not limited) operating in a single apartment is NOT prohibited. However, it would be illegal for more than one sex workers to operate in a single apartment.
Cap. 200 Crimes Ordinance──
Section.139 Keeping a vice establishment

  1. A person who on any occasion –
  1. keeps any premises, vessel or place as a vice establishment; or
  2. manages or assists in the management, or is otherwise in charge or control, of any premises, vessel or place kept as a vice establishment,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable –
  1. on summary conviction to imprisonment for 3 years; or
  2. on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for 10 years.

When a particular premises is reasonably suspected as a vice establishment, the police will determine if it is “kept”, “managed” or ”assisted to manage” and make arrests accordingly.  Although the charge is “Keeping a Vice Establishment”, a person ”manages” or “assists to manage” a vice establishment is also likely to be prosecuted.
Also, most people arrested in these operations have been people holding Two-Way Permits.

According to immigration laws, any person staying in Hong Kong with a Two-Way Permit is prohibited from any paid or unpaid work. Arrested persons might be immediately repatriated or imprisoned; the maximum penalty for such offense is a fine of $50,000 and 2 years imprisonment. 
Cap 115 Immigration Ordinance 
Section 41 Breach of Condition of Stay
Under Cap 115A Immigration Regulations Section 2(1)
(1) Permission given to a person to land in Hong Kong as a visitor shall be subject to the following conditions of stay-
(a) he shall not take any employment, whether paid or unpaid;
(b) he shall not establish or join in any business; and
(c) he shall not become a student at a school, university or other educational institution.
Any person who obtained an employment visa for Hong Kong could only take up the employment or join in the business approved by the Immigration.

Holders of visitor or double entry visa are not allowed to take up any employment, including unpaid work. Any persons violated their conditions of stay will, upon arrest, be liable to immediate repatriation or imprisonment; a maximum fine of HK$50,000 and imprisonment for two years.

The Police and Immigration officers regularly conduct joint decoy operations in different establishments, arresting illegal sex workers. Sex workers are reminded that criminal records are permanent and would not be deleted after periods of absence from Hong Kong. Criminal records can have massive implication on employment and immigration so sex workers are advised to stay away from crime.

News Reading

5. Words From Fellow Sisters

Linda: I met my husband when he helped me with the photos for my website. He knows I am in the business. He doesn’t take photos for other people anymore, but I am still working in the industry. We don’t talk about work at home.
Copyright © 2018 Action for REACH OUT, All rights reserved.

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