13 April 2015
The Immigration Department and the Hong Kong Police Force today (April 13) jointly mounted an anti-illegal employment operation codenamed "Windsand" in the Sheung Shui area. During the operation, 12 Mainland visitors comprising one man and 11 women aged 29 to 58 were arrested for breaching their conditions of stay by being involved in suspected parallel goods trading at Ka Fu Close, San Wan Road and Po Wan Road. The goods included milk powder, food, skin-care products, daily necessities and electronic products.
The operation is still in progress.
Since September 2012, a number of "Windsand" operations have been conducted, during which a total of 2 068 Mainlanders and 14 Hong Kong residents were arrested for suspected involvement in parallel goods trading. Of these, 215 Mainlanders were prosecuted for breach of conditions of stay and 12 are under investigation, while the remaining 1 841 people were repatriated. Among those prosecuted, 204 were sentenced to imprisonment of between four weeks and three months, one is pending court hearing, and charges were withdrawn for the other 10 people.
"Visitors are not allowed to take up employment in Hong Kong, whether paid or unpaid, without the permission of the Director of Immigration. Offenders are liable to prosecution and upon conviction face a maximum fine of $50,000 and up to two years' imprisonment. Aiders and abettors are also liable to prosecution and penalties. The Immigration Department will continue to take enforcement action with related law enforcement departments against the offences concerned," an Immigration Department spokesman said.