13 November 2014
A Mainland woman was charged with one count of making false representation and one count of breach of conditions of stay at Sha Tin Magistrates' Court today (November 13). She was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment. In addition, the defendant had been convicted of breaching conditions of stay earlier, when she was sentenced to four weeks' imprisonment suspended for three years. Due to her violation of the term of suspension, the court activated the suspended sentence today and it will run consecutively. The defendant was therefore sentenced to 12 months and four weeks' imprisonment in total.
The 35-year-old defendant arrived in Hong Kong as a visitor on July 15 and overstayed when her limit of stay expired. The defendant then rushed to an accident and emergency department for delivery without prior booking on October 25. After investigation, the Immigration Department found the defendant had claimed to an immigration staff member that she was not pregnant during enquiry upon arrival clearance at Hong Kong International Airport on July 15. Under caution, the defendant admitted to have made a false representation to an immigration staff member during arrival clearance that she was not pregnant with a view to seeking entry for delivery. The defendant pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment at Sha Tin Magistrates' Court today.
"The Immigration Department is concerned about the situation of overstaying Mainland pregnant women seeking to give birth in Hong Kong. Great efforts have been made to strengthen the examination of Mainland pregnant women at the control points. Vigorous enforcement actions have also been taken to combat immigration offences committed by Mainland pregnant women and the persons who have aided or abetted Mainland pregnant women to give birth in Hong Kong by illegal means," an Immigration Department spokesman said.
The spokesman warned that visitors who breach their conditions of stay will be liable to prosecution under the laws of Hong Kong and, upon conviction, to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for two years. Moreover, any person who makes false representation to an immigration officer commits an offence. Offenders are liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, subject to the maximum penalty of a fine of $150,000 and imprisonment for 14 years.