Two Mainland pregnant women and Hong Kong resident jailed for conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to obtain services by deception

22 February 2016

Two Mainland pregnant women and a Hong Kong resident who were each charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud and one count of conspiracy to obtain services by deception, were sentenced to 14 months' imprisonment respectively at Sha Tin Magistrates' Courts today (February 22).

In the first case, the 34-year-old first defendant was a Mainland pregnant woman, while the 53-year-old second defendant was a Hong Kong resident. They were married in Hong Kong in June last year. Subsequently, the first 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 the second defendant. When the first defendant attempted to enter Hong Kong for delivery in July last year, she was refused permission to land as the Immigration Department had doubts about her marital relationship with the second defendant, leading to an investigation.

After giving birth on the Mainland, the first defendant entered Hong Kong again in December last year, when she was arrested. Under caution, the first defendant admitted that she had contracted a bogus marriage with the second defendant in order to obtain a Confirmation Certificate on Delivery Booking for delivery in Hong Kong. The second defendant was subsequently arrested by the Immigration Department. They pleaded guilty to the charges at Sha Tin Magistrates' Courts today. The defendants were sentenced to 12 and eight months' imprisonment for the charges respectively, with six months of the second sentence, which is conspiracy to obtain services by deception, to run concurrently, making a total of 14 months' imprisonment each.

In the second case, the 19-year-old first defendant was a Mainland pregnant woman while the 23-year-old second defendant was a Hong Kong resident. They were married in Hong Kong in August last year. Subsequently, the first 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 the second defendant. When the first defendant attempted to enter Hong Kong for delivery in November last year, she was refused permission to land as the Immigration Department had doubts about her marital relationship with the second defendant, leading to an investigation.

After giving birth on the Mainland, the first defendant entered Hong Kong again in January this year, when she was arrested. Under caution, the first defendant admitted that she had contracted a bogus marriage with the second defendant in order to obtain a Confirmation Certificate on Delivery Booking for delivery in Hong Kong. The second defendant was subsequently arrested by the Immigration Department. They pleaded guilty to the charges at Sha Tin Magistrates' Courts today. The first defendant was sentenced to 12 and eight months' imprisonment for the charges respectively, with six months of the second sentence, which is conspiracy to obtain services by deception, to run concurrently, making a total of 14 months' imprisonment, while the case of second defendant was adjourned to next month for sentencing.

"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.