Five South Asian illegal workers jailed

7 April 2016

Two Indian and three Bangladeshi illegal workers holding Immigration recognisance forms were given prison sentences at Shatin Magistrates' Courts on April 5 and 6.
 
In August 2015, Immigration Department (ImmD) investigators received a referral from the Hong Kong Police Force to further investigate an illegal employment case. Enforcement officers raided an unnamed recycling depot in Lok Ma Chau. Five male illegal workers aged 29 to 36 were found dismantling, conveying and compressing metal. Upon identity checking, it was found that they were non-refoulement claimants in possession of recognisance forms issued by the ImmD, which prohibit them from taking up employment.
 
The five illegal workers, who appeared at Shatin Magistrates' Courts, were charged with taking up employment after landing in Hong Kong unlawfully and remaining in Hong Kong without the authority of the Director of Immigration or while being a person in respect of whom a removal order was in force. After the trial, the five illegal workers were each sentenced to 22 months and 2 weeks' imprisonment.
 
The ImmD spokesman warned that it is an offence for illegal immigrants or people who are the subject of a removal order or a deportation order to take up any employment or to establish or join in any business. Offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and up to three years' imprisonment. The Court of Appeal has issued a guideline ruling that a sentence of 15 months' imprisonment should be applied in such cases.