Businessman fined M1,000 over work permit

  • Investigations show that Lin holds shares in several companies in Lesotho
  • Lawyer contends that his client’s admission of guilt is a sign of remorse


MASERU – A Chinese national and director of Phakoe Motor Freight PTY LTD, located at Ha Matala, Maseru, who was working in Lesotho without a valid work permit was released on March 6 on a M1,000 fine by the Maseru Magistrate’s Court. This, after Lin Yong Fa, 52, who pleaded guilty to the charge, told the presiding officer, Magistrate Kolisang, that upon his arrest on July 10, 2023, he had already applied for a work permit.

Lin, who holds shares in several other companies in Lesotho, had previously appeared before the same court on July 12, 2023. After the charge was read to him through an interpreter, he was granted bail of M500 and instructed not to interfere with police investigations or skip the country. Advocate Ratsita, representing the Crown, said although Lin did not immediately plead guilty on July 11, 2023, the day he was brought in for a pre-trial conference by the police, his subsequent admission indicated remorse.

“The trial was initially scheduled for June 6, 2024. However, after discussions with the accused’s lawyer, who assured me of his intention to plead guilty today, we decided not to proceed further. This prevented the need for witnesses and a trial, which would have revealed his lack of a valid work permit,” stated Ratsita. Lin’s lawyer, Advocate Motloang, explained that Lin had already applied for a work permit at the time of his arrest and was awaiting his passport.

“I urge the court to consider leniency, as the accused has not interfered with the ongoing investigations into his case,” Motloang pleaded. Magistrate Kholisang imposed a fine of Ml000 on the accused. Ratsita explained that if the trial had proceeded as scheduled on June 6, investigations would have revealed that on July 10, 2023, a labour inspector at the labour office in Maseru, ’Matele Pali, received information showing that the accused was working at Phakoe Motor Freight in Ha Matala without a valid work permit.

Pali, accompanied by members of the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS), approached Lin at his workplace and requested his working permit, which he could not produce. Upon checking his passport, it was confirmed that he was a Chinese citizen. Pali said police from the anti-human trafficking and migrant control unit at the Police Headquarters charged the accused and arrested him. Further investigations revealed that Lin was involved in several other companies in Maseru, either as a director or shareholder.

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