16 December 2013
A Hong Kong resident was charged with a count of conspiracy to obtain services by deception and pleaded guilty at Sha Tin Magistrates' Courts today (December 16). He was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment.
The Immigration Department's investigation revealed that the 42-year-old defendant got married with a Mainland pregnant woman in the Mainland on December 13, 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 around $40,000 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 April 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.