1 February 2013
A Mainland pregnant woman who was charged with one count of making false representation to an Immigration Officer and one count of attempting to obtain services by deception pleaded guilty to the charges at the Shatin Magistrates' Courts today (February 1). She was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment for the offence of making false representation to an Immigration Officer and 12 months' imprisonment for the offence of attempting to obtain services by deception, both sentences to run concurrently, making a total of 12 months' imprisonment.
The Immigration Department's investigation revealed that the 28-year-old defendant was a Mainland resident and she married a Hong Kong permanent resident in Hong Kong on May 4, 2012. Subsequently, she successfully obtained the Confirmation Certificate on Delivery Booking from a private hospital for the delivery services in 2013 by virtue of her marital relationship with her resident husband.
The defendant was intercepted on arrival at the China Ferry Terminal on December 12, 2012. During the arrival immigration examination, the defendant produced to an Immigration Officer the aforesaid Confirmation Certificate on Delivery Booking and told the Immigration Officer that she had come to visit her husband. She claimed that the husband was the natural father of her expected baby. As the Immigration Department cast doubt on the representation of the defendant, she was refused permission to enter that day and was referred for further investigation.
During the investigation, the defendant admitted that the natural father of her expected baby was in fact her Mainland ex-husband. She had falsely represented to the Immigration Officer that her resident husband was the natural father of her expected baby so as to gain entry into Hong Kong. Furthermore, she admitted representing the same to the private hospital concerned when reserving the confinement services to facilitate her delivery in Hong Kong.
Investigation of other suspects is continuing.
"The Immigration Department is concerned about the situation of Mainland pregnant women seeking to give birth in Hong Kong by illegal means. To complement the implementation of the 'zero quota' policy, great efforts are made to strengthen the examination of Mainland pregnant women at the control points. Vigorous enforcement actions have also been taken to combat related offences committed by Mainland pregnant women and the persons who have aided or abetted the Mainland pregnant women to give births in Hong Kong by illegal means," an Immigration spokesman said.
The spokesman warned that making false representation to an Immigration Officer is 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.
The spokesman added that under the Theft Ordinance, a person who by any deception dishonestly obtains services from another shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable, upon conviction, to imprisonment for 10 years. A person who attempts to obtain services by deception is also liable to prosecution and penalty.