User of forged travel document and his courier jailed in immigration scam

5 July 2012

A male Mainland resident and a Filipino male were sentenced to jail by the District Court today (July 5) for offences involving a forged travel document, making false representation and conspiracy to obtain services by deception.

The first defendant, the Mainland resident, was apprehended for using a forged Philippine passport. The second defendant, from the Philippines, acted as his courier. They both pleaded guilty at the District Court on June 25, 2012, to one count of using a forged travel document, one count of making false representation and one count of conspiracy to obtain services by deception. They were sentenced to prison terms of 18 months and 22 months respectively at the District Court today.

On March 9, 2012, the first defendant was intercepted by immigration officer during departure clearance at the Hong Kong International Airport when he presented a suspected forged Philippine passport for a flight to the Philippines. Under caution, the first defendant admitted that he was a Mainland resident and he had procured the passport from a middleman at a cost of RMB 50,000. He also admitted that he was accompanied by a courier (the second defendant), who was subsequently intercepted at the boarding gate of the same Philippines-bound flight. He admitted under caution that he was employed as a middleman to accompany the first defendant on the trip.

Under the laws of Hong Kong, anyone who possesses or uses a forged travel document commits an offence. Offenders are liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, to a maximum fine of $150,000 and imprisonment for 14 years. Furthermore, under the Theft Ordinance, a person who dishonestly obtains services is, if convicted on indictment, liable to a maximum penalty of 10 years' jail.

It is also an offence to make false representation to immigration officers. Offenders are liable to prosecution and to a maximum fine of $150,000 and imprisonment for 14 years. Aiders and abettors are also liable to prosecution.