HK resident jailed for immigration scam

7 March 2012

A Hong Kong resident involved in an immigration scam has been jailed by the District Court for 23 months today (March 7).

The male Hong Kong resident pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to obtain services by deception.

In May 2009, immigration investigators at Hong Kong International Airport intercepted three Mainlanders as they were about to board a flight to Vancouver, Canada. The three Mainlanders produced forged Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passports and boarding passes with the names of other persons for inspection.

The three Mainlanders later admitted that the defendant and another Hong Kong resident acted as courier and check-in facilitator respectively for them. After further investigation, the defendant and the check-in facilitator were arrested.

The check-in facilitator has already been convicted of one count of conspiracy to obtain services by deception and sentenced to 16 months' imprisonment in February 2012, while the three Mainlanders were each jailed for 10 months for the scam in May 2009.

"Under the Theft Ordinance, people who, by any deception, dishonestly obtain services from another shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable, upon conviction, to imprisonment for 10 years," an Immigration Department spokesman said.

The spokesman warned that under the laws of Hong Kong, any person who uses a false travel document commits an offence. It is also an offence to make false representation to immigration officers. Offenders are liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, the maximum penalty will be a fine of $150,000 and imprisonment for 14 years.