Fourteen immigration offenders arrested

21 Jul 2015

The Immigration Department arrested 11 illegal workers and three suspected employers during a territory-wide anti-illegal workers operation codenamed "Twilight" yesterday (July 20).

Immigration Task Force officers raided 13 target locations including restaurants, an elderly care centre, a laboratory, market stalls and a residential flat under renovation. The 11 illegal workers comprised eight men and three women aged 22 to 53. Among them, one man and one woman were suspected of using and being in possession of a Hong Kong identity card related to other person. Another man was suspected of using and being in possession of a forged Hong Kong identity card. Three male employers aged 61 to 65 were suspected of employing the illegal workers.

"Visitors are not allowed to take 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," an Immigration Department spokesman said.

The spokesman warned that it is an offence to use or possess a forged Hong Kong identity card or a Hong Kong identity card related to another person. Offenders are liable to prosecution and a maximum penalty of a $100,000 fine and up to 10 years' imprisonment.

The spokesman appealed to employers not to employ illegal workers, warning that it is an offence to employ people who are not lawfully employable. The maximum penalty is a fine of $350,000 and imprisonment for three years. It is also an offence if an employer fails to inspect the job seeker's identity card or, if the job seeker does not have a Hong Kong permanent identity card, his or her valid travel document. The maximum penalty for failing to do so is a fine of $150,000 and imprisonment for one year. To deter unlawful employment, the High Court laid down sentencing guidelines in 2004 reaffirming that it is a serious offence to employ someone who is not legally employable, and stating that the employer of an illegal worker should be given an immediate custodial sentence.