10 November 2014
A Hong Kong resident was charged with one count of aiding, abetting, counseling or procuring another for making false representation and one count of making false statement. He previously pleaded guilty to the charges at Sha Tin Magistrates' Courts and was sentenced to 15 months' imprisonment today (November 10).
The 26-year-old defendant married a Mainland pregnant woman in Hong Kong in April 2013. Subsequently, the Mainland pregnant woman successfully obtained a Confirmation Certificate on Delivery Booking from a private hospital for delivery services by virtue of her marital relationship with the defendant. She gave birth to her baby in Hong Kong in July 2013 and applied for a Re-entry Permit for the new born baby. Upon her attempt of arrival in August 2013, the Immigration Department had enquired the Mainland pregnant woman and the defendant for her purpose of visit. Due to the doubts on the marital relationship between the Mainland pregnant woman and the defendant, the woman was refused permission to land by the Immigration Department, which led to an investigation.
During the investigation, the defendant admitted that under the arrangement of a middleman, he would be paid around HK$30,000 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. He also admitted that he had made false representation to an immigration officer that his marriage with the Mainland pregnant woman was genuine upon her attempt of arrival in August 2013 to assist her entry to Hong Kong. Furthermore, he admitted to have made false statement that he was the natural father of the new born baby upon the baby's application of re-entry permit.
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 laws of Hong Kong, any person who makes false representation or statement 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. Those aiding and abetting such crimes are liable to the same penalty.