16 March 2012
A female Mainland resident who worked with a Mainland health-care service company in arranging for non-local pregnant women to come to Hong Kong for confinement today (March 16) pleaded guilty in the Shatin Magistrates' Court to two counts of breach of condition of stay. The woman was sentenced to six weeks' imprisonment for each charge, with three of the weeks running consecutively, bringing the total period of imprisonment to nine weeks.
On February 28, 2012, the 41-year-old defendant was stopped for further examination at Lok Ma Chau Control Point upon arrival. Investigation revealed that the defendant had accompanied several non-local pregnant women to enter Hong Kong since 2010. During further inquiry, the defendant admitted that she had worked with a Mainland health-care company as a consultant from July 2010 to April 2011. During her employment, she had escorted two pregnant Mainland clients to come to Hong Kong for antenatal checks and confinement. She further admitted that she had acted as a translator for them and had escorted them to hospital and their hotel.
"We are very much concerned about the activities of Mainland agents arranging for non-local pregnant women coming to Hong Kong for confinement, particularly those who have no prior confinement booking. We will continue to spare no efforts in combating any immigration offences detected," an Immigration Department spokesman said.
The spokesman warned that visitors are not allowed to take employment, or establish or join in any business in Hong Kong, without the permission of the Director of Immigration. Offenders are liable to prosecution and upon conviction to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for two years.