11 Dec 2015
A Mainland pregnant woman pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to obtain services by deception at Sha Tin Magistrates' Courts today (December 11) and was sentenced to a total of 12 months' imprisonment.
The 27-year-old defendant married a Hong Kong resident in Hong Kong in June this year. Subsequently, the defendant successfully obtained a Confirmation Certificate on Delivery Booking from a private hospital for delivery services in 2015 by virtue of her marital relationship with her resident husband. When the defendant attempted to enter Hong Kong for delivery in July this year, she was refused permission to land as the Immigration Department had doubts about her marital relationship with the resident husband, leading to an investigation.
After giving birth on the Mainland, the defendant entered Hong Kong again in November this year, when she was arrested. Under caution, the defendant admitted that through the arrangement of a middleman, she contracted a bogus marriage with the Hong Kong resident in order to obtain a Confirmation Certificate on Delivery Booking for delivery in Hong Kong. The defendant pleaded guilty to the charges at Sha Tin Magistrates' Courts today and was sentenced to a total of 12 months' imprisonment.
"The Immigration Department is concerned about the situation of non-local pregnant women seeking to give birth in Hong Kong by illegal means. While great efforts are made to intercept non-local pregnant women without a confinement booking at the control points, vigorous enforcement actions have also been taken to combat related immigration offences committed by non-local pregnant women and their abettors," an Immigration Department spokesman said.
The spokesman warned that conspiracy to defraud is a serious offence. Offenders are liable to prosecution and upon conviction, under the Crimes Ordinance, the maximum penalty is imprisonment for 14 years. Moreover, under the Theft Ordinance, a person who by any deception dishonestly obtains services from another shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable, upon conviction, to the maximum penalty of imprisonment for 10 years.