Hong Kong resident jailed for conspiracy to defraud

15 November 2013

A Hong Kong resident pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to defraud and was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment at Sha Tin Magistrates' Courts today (November 15).

The Immigration Department's investigation revealed that the 55-year-old defendant and a Mainland pregnant woman got married in Hong Kong in September 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 defendant. The Immigration Department had doubts concerning the marital relationship between the Mainland pregnant woman and the defendant, leading to an investigation.

During the investigation, the defendant admitted that, under the arrangement of a middleman, he had received RMB60,000 as monetary reward to contract a bogus marriage with the Mainland pregnant woman in order to enable her to obtain a Confirmation Certificate on Delivery Booking for delivery in Hong Kong. The Mainland pregnant woman attempted to enter Hong Kong in February 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 conspiracy to defraud is a serious offence. Offenders are liable to prosecution and upon conviction, under the Crimes Ordinance, the maximum penalty is imprisonment for 14 years.