18 November 2014
A Mainland woman pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud and one count of making false representation at Sha Tin Magistrates' Courts today (November 18). The defendant was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment for each charge with both sentences to run concurrently.
The 32-year-old defendant married a Hong Kong resident in Hong Kong in September 2012. She subsequently obtained a Confirmation Certificate on Delivery Booking from a private hospital for delivery services in 2013 by virtue of her marital relationship with her resident husband. When the defendant attempted to enter Hong Kong for delivery in January 2013, she was refused permission to land as the Immigration Department had doubts about her marital relationship with the resident husband. Upon further investigation, the resident husband was arrested and he admitted to having contracted a bogus marriage with the defendant. He was subsequently convicted of conspiracy to defraud and was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment in June 2013.
After giving birth on the Mainland, the defendant attempted to enter Hong Kong again on October 25 this year, when she was arrested. Under caution, the defendant admitted that she had contracted a bogus marriage with a Hong Kong resident in order to obtain a Confirmation Certificate on Delivery Booking for delivery in Hong Kong. The defendant pleaded guilty to the charges at Sha Tin Magistrates' Courts today and was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment.
"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. 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.