28 April 2012
A female Mainland resident involved in arranging non-local pregnant women to come to Hong Kong for confinement pleaded guilty today (April 28) in the Eastern Magistrates' Court to four counts of breach of condition of stay. The woman was sentenced to eight weeks' imprisonment for each charge. Sentences of the first three charges are to run concurrently whilst three weeks relating to the fourth charge are to run consecutively, making a total of 11-week imprisonment.
On April 25, the 29-year-old defendant was apprehended by Immigration Department for investigation as she was suspected to be an intermediary of non-local pregnant women intending to come to Hong Kong for delivery. Investigation revealed that the defendant was employed in a maternal and child services company in the Mainland between 2008 and 2009 and was responsible for escorting pregnant women to come to Hong Kong for medical checks. Between June and September 2009, she accompanied three Mainland pregnant visitors to hospitals in Hong Kong and acted as an interpreter during the whole process of antenatal check. She also admitted that she had established business for providing services for Mainland pregnant women since 2010. In January 2010, she arranged obstetric appointments for a Mainland visitor and accompanied her to come to Hong Kong for pre-natal checks.
"This is the third case of its kind since the successful convictions on February 10 and March 16, 2012 of two intermediaries who assisted Mainland pregnant women to come to Hong Kong for medical services. 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.