21 November 2014
The Immigration Department and the Hong Kong Police Force yesterday (November 20) jointly mounted an anti-illegal employment operation codenamed "Windsand" in Sheung Shui District. During the operation, 14 Mainland visitors comprising six men and eight women aged 19 to 51 were arrested for breaching their conditions of stay by being involved in suspected parallel goods trading at Choi Yuen Road and Ka Fu Close. The goods included milk powder, skin-care products, medicine, wine, food and daily necessities.
Since September 2012, a number of "Windsand" operations have been conducted, during which a total of 1 543 Mainlanders and 14 Hong Kong residents were arrested for suspected involvement in parallel goods trading. Of these, 206 Mainlanders were prosecuted for breach of conditions of stay and four are under investigation, while the remaining 1 333 people were repatriated. Among those prosecuted, 197 out of 206 were sentenced to imprisonment for four weeks to three months and charges were withdrawn for another nine people.
"Visitors are not allowed to take up employment in Hong Kong, whether paid or unpaid, without the permission of the Director of Immigration. Offenders are liable to prosecution and upon conviction face a maximum fine of $50,000 and up to two years' imprisonment. Aiders and abettors are also liable to prosecution and penalties. The Immigration Department will continue to take enforcement action with related law enforcement departments against the offences concerned," an Immigration Department spokesman said.