18 September 2012
A pregnant Mainland visitor was convicted of one count of being in possession of false document and one count of making false representation at the Shatin Magistrates' Court today (September 18). The defendant was sentenced to eight months' imprisonment for the first charge of being in possession of false document and eight months' imprisonment for the second charge of making false representation. Both sentences will run concurrently, making a total eight months' imprisonment.
On August 29, the 26-year-old defendant presented for arrival clearance at the Hong Kong International Airport. During arrival examination, the defendant claimed that she was 28 weeks pregnant and intended to visit Hong Kong for sightseeing. She also furnished a medical certificate issued by a Mainland hospital stating that she was 28 weeks pregnant. However, according to records, the defendant had been refused permission to land in June 2012 at the Lo Wu Control Point for having no confinement booking. On that occasion, she revealed that her estimated delivery date was September 5. The medical proof she produced on August 29 was therefore suspected to be a false document and the defendant was refused permission to land as a result. However, the defendant reported sick and was subsequently admitted to hospital. She later produced medical proof issued by another Mainland hospital stating that she was in fact 38 weeks pregnant. The defendant subsequently gave birth to a baby on September 8. During the ensuing investigation, the defendant admitted that she had falsely represented that she was 28 weeks pregnant and had produced false medical proof with a view to deceiving an immigration officer upon arrival clearance on August 29.
"Under the laws of Hong Kong, any person who makes false representation to an immigration officer commits an offence. Offenders are liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, subject to the maximum penalty of a fine of $150,000 and imprisonment for 14 years. Being in possession of false document is also a serious offence. Offenders are liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, subject to the maximum penalty of a fine of $150,000 and imprisonment for 14 years. Furthermore, the Immigration Department will continue to step up checking at control points to prevent non-local pregnant women who do not have confinement booking from coming to Hong Kong," an Immigration Department spokesman said.