3 August 2012
Three male Mainland residents each pleaded guilty to one count of using a false travel document and one count of conspiracy to obtain services by deception and were each sentenced to 21 months and 10 days in jail by the District Court today (August 3).
On March 30, 2012, the three defendants arrived at Hong Kong International Airport as transit passengers. They were intercepted by Immigration investigators at the boarding gate for a flight heading to Brisbane and were found to have in their possession forged travel documents supposedly issued by the Taiwan authorities and boarding passes for the Brisbane flight. They admitted under caution that they were Mainland residents and had procured the forged travel documents from a middleman at a cost of RMB200,000 each with intent to go to Australia. Forensic examination confirmed that the bio-data pages of the forged travel documents had been unlawfully altered.
Under the laws of Hong Kong, anyone who possesses or uses a false travel document commits an offence. Offenders are liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, to a maximum fine of $150,000 and imprisonment for 14 years. Furthermore, under the Theft Ordinance, a person who dishonestly obtains services is, if convicted on indictment, liable to a maximum penalty of 10 years' imprisonment.