Three Nepalese illegal workers jailed

29 June 2016

Three Nepalese illegal workers holding immigration recognisance forms were jailed at Shatin Magistrates' Courts yesterday (June 28).

In September 2015, 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 Yuen Long. Three male Nepalese workers, aged 22 to 33, were found driving a forklift and categorising and dismantling electronic parts. Upon identity checking, they produced for inspection recognisance forms issued by the ImmD, which prohibit them from taking employment and further investigation revealed that they were non-refoulement claimants.

The three arrestees, who appeared at Shatin Magistrates' Courts, were each charged with taking employment after landing in Hong Kong unlawfully and remaining in Hong Kong without the authority of the Director of Immigration while being a person in respect of whom a removal order or deportation order was in force. After the trial, they were sentenced to 22 months and two weeks' imprisonment.

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.