7 November 2014
A Mainland woman was charged with one count of making false representation and one count of breach of condition of stay at Sha Tin Magistrates' Court today (November 7) and was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment.
The 30-year-old defendant arrived in Hong Kong as a visitor on May 18 and overstayed when her limit of stay had expired. The defendant went to an accident and emergency department for delivery without prior booking on October 7. The immigration record revealed that the defendant was asked by an immigration staff member about her pregnancy status upon arrival clearance at Lok Ma Chau Spur Line Control Point on May 18, and she claimed that she was not pregnant.
During subsequent investigation, the defendant admitted under caution that she had made false representation to immigration staff by falsely claiming that she was not pregnant, and also admitted that she had intended to overstay in Hong Kong for delivery. The defendant pleaded guilty at Sha Tin Magistrates' Court to the charges and was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment.
"The Immigration Department is concerned about the situation of overstaying Mainland pregnant women seeking to give birth in Hong Kong. Great efforts have been made to strengthen the examination of Mainland pregnant women at the control points. Vigorous enforcement actions have also been taken to combat immigration offences committed by Mainland pregnant women and the persons who have aided or abetted Mainland pregnant women to give birth in Hong Kong by illegal means," an Immigration Department spokesman said.
The spokesman warned that visitors who breach their conditions of stay will be liable to prosecution under the laws of Hong Kong and, upon conviction, to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for two years. Moreover, 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.