Twelve immigration offenders arrested

6 May 2016

The Immigration Department and the Hong Kong Police Force jointly mounted an anti-illegal employment operation codenamed "Windsand" yesterday (May 5) in Sheung Shui district. During the operation, 12 Mainland visitors comprising eight men and four women aged 21 to 52 were arrested for breaching their conditions of stay by being involved in suspected parallel goods trading at San Wan Road in Sheung Shui. The goods included milk powder, food, skin-care products, electronic products and electronic components.

Since September 2012, a number of "Windsand" operations have been conducted, during which a total of 2,825 Mainlanders and 17 Hong Kong residents were arrested for suspected involvement in parallel goods trading. Of these, 228 Mainlanders were prosecuted for breach of conditions of stay while the remaining 2,597 people were repatriated. Among those prosecuted, 218 were sentenced to imprisonment for between four weeks and three months, while charges were withdrawn for the other 10 people.

"Visitors are not allowed to take up 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. Aiders and abettors are also liable to prosecution and penalties. The Immigration Department will continue to take enforcement actions with related law enforcement departments against the offences concerned," an Immigration Department spokesman said.