Two Bangladeshi illegal workers jailed

26 May 2016

Two Bangladeshi illegal workers holding Immigration recognisance forms were jailed at Shatin Magistrates' Courts yesterday (May 25).

In January this year, Immigration Department (ImmD) investigators received a referral from the Hong Kong Police Force to further investigate an illegal employment case. Enforcement officers raided a recycling depot in Lok Ma Chau. A male Bangladeshi worker, aged 36, was found driving a forklift. Upon identity checking, he produced for inspection a recognisance form issued by ImmD, which prohibits him from taking employment and further investigation revealed that he was a non-refoulement claimant.

In addition, during an anti-illegal employment operation mounted on April 5, officers of ImmD raided a restaurant in Central. A female Bangladeshi worker, aged 29, was found preparing food. Upon identity checking, she produced for inspection a recognisance form issued by ImmD, which prohibits her from taking employment.

The two arrestees were charged at Shatin Magistrates' Court yesterday with taking employment while being a person who remains in Hong Kong without the authority of the Director of Immigration after having landed in Hong Kong unlawfully or being a person in respect of whom a removal order was in force. After the trial, they were sentenced to 15 months' and 22 months plus two weeks' imprisonment respectively.

The ImmD spokesman warned that, as stipulated in section 38AA of the Immigration Ordinance, illegal immigrants or people who are the subject of a removal order or a deportation order are prohibited from taking any employment, whether paid or unpaid, or establishing or joining in any business. Offenders are liable upon conviction 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.