Six South Asian illegal workers jailed

25 April 2016

Six South Asian illegal workers holding Immigration recognisance forms including four Vietnamese and one Pakistani illegal immigrants and one Bangladeshi overstayer were jailed at Shatin Magistrates' Courts and Fanling Magistrates' Court on April 22 and 23.
 
In June and September 2015, the Immigration Department (ImmD) investigators received referrals from the other law enforcement agencies for further investigation in two illegal employment cases.  Enforcement officers found one Vietnamese male illegal worker aged 48 was selling goods and one Bangladeshi male illegal worker aged 28 was conveying goods in Sham Shui Po and Sheung Shui.  Upon identity checking, two males produced recognisance forms issued by the ImmD, which prohibit them from taking employment and further investigation revealed that they were non-refoulement claimants.
 
Besides, during an anti-illegal employment operation jointly mounted by the ImmD and Labour Department on February 25, enforcement officers raided a food retail shop in Cheung Sha Wan. A male Pakistani worker aged 27 was found selling drinks. Upon identity checking, he produced for inspection a recognisance form issued by the ImmD, which prohibits him from taking up employment and further investigation revealed that he was a non-refoulement claimant.
 
During the anti-illegal worker operation on April 20 and 21, one male and one female Vietnamese illegal workers aged 31 and 29 were found working in a restaurant in Yuen Long and one Vietnamese male illegal worker aged 32 was found packing food in a food processing factory in San Po Kong.  Upon identity checking, they were found to be non-refoulement claimants and holders of recognisance forms issued by the ImmD, which prohibit them from taking up employment. Among them, two males were suspected of using and in possession of a suspected forged Hong Kong Identity Card.
 
Among six arrestees, four were charged with taking up employment in Hong Kong without the authority of the Director of Immigration and while being a person in respect of whom a removal order was in force.  Besides, two were charged using a forged identity card and taking up employment in Hong Kong without the authority of the Director of Immigration and while having landed and remained in Hong Kong illegally.  After the trial, they were sentenced from 14 months and three weeks' to 22 months and two weeks' imprisonment.
 
The 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.
 
The spokesman also 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 ten years' imprisonment.