17 July 2012
A Mainland driver who established an illegal business providing a cross-boundary transport service was charged with one count of breach of condition of stay and one count of driving a motor vehicle for the carriage of passengers for hire or reward. He was convicted of the charges today (July 17) in Shatin Magistrates' Court and sentenced to three months' imprisonment for the first charge and fined $3,000 for the second.
The 43-year-old defendant was investigated by the Immigration Department as he was suspected of conveying a non-local pregnant woman to Hong Kong for confinement purposes, but without a confinement booking, on March 27, 2012. He did not present for arrival clearance on that occasion and was therefore not intercepted. On March 29, the defendant was intercepted at Shenzhen Bay Control Point when he presented for arrival clearance as driver of a limousine with two foreign tourists on board. He was therefore suspected of operating a cross-boundary transport service in Hong Kong.
Investigation revealed that the defendant was employed by a Mainland handbag company and was responsible for driving the company limousine. He was sometimes required to convey company clients between Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Since February 1, 2012, he used the limousine to run his own business providing cross-boundary transport services at a cost of RMB500 to 550 for each journey. He admitted conveying the Mainland pregnant woman to Hong Kong on March 27. However, he dropped the woman at Huanggang and did not present for arrival clearance as he did not want to get into trouble. He also admitted conveying the two tourists to Hong Kong on March 29 at a cost of RMB650.
We are very much concerned about non-local pregnant women coming to Hong Kong for confinement without prior booking, and have stepped up checking at control points including vehicular control points. We will keep a close watch for any syndicate that conveys non-local pregnant women without confinement bookings to Hong Kong. We will spare no effort in combating any related immigration offences," an Immigration 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.
"Under the laws of Hong Kong, anyone who commits the offence of driving or using a motor vehicle for the carriage of passengers for hire or reward is liable to prosecution and, upon first conviction, to a fine of $5,000 and to imprisonment for three months, and in the case of a second or subsequent conviction, to a fine of $10,000 and to imprisonment for six months," added the spokesman.