08 October 2013
Two Hong Kong residents jointly charged with conspiracy to obtain services by deception pleaded guilty at Sha Tin Magistrates' Courts today (October 8). Each was sentenced to six months' imprisonment.
The first and second defendants were the resident husband and sister of a Mainland pregnant woman. The Immigration Department’s investigation revealed that the 24-year-old first defendant and the Mainland pregnant woman were married in Hong Kong on November 22, 2012. Subsequently, the Mainland pregnant woman successfully obtained a Confirmation Certificate on Delivery Booking from a private hospital for delivery services in 2013 by virtue of her marital relationship with the first defendant. The Immigration Department had doubts concerning the matrimonial relationship between the Mainland pregnant woman and the first defendant, leading to an investigation.
During the investigation, the first defendant admitted that, under the second defendant's arrangement, he had contracted a bogus marriage to enable the Mainland pregnant woman to obtain a Confirmation Certificate on Delivery Booking for delivery in Hong Kong. The second defendant also admitted making such an arrangement for the first defendant and the Mainland pregnant woman. The Mainland pregnant woman attempted to enter Hong Kong in March 2013 but was refused permission to land.
Investigation of other suspects is continuing.
"The Immigration Department is concerned about the situation of non-local pregnant women seeking to give birth in Hong Kong by illegal means. While great efforts are made to intercept non-local pregnant women without a confinement booking at the control points, vigorous enforcement actions have also been taken to combat related immigration offences committed by non-local pregnant women and their abettors," an Immigration Department spokesman said.
The spokesman warned 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 up to 10 years.