02 April 2015
A Hong Kong resident was charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud and two counts of making false representation. He previously pleaded guilty to the charges at Sha Tin Magistrates' Courts and was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment today (April 2).
The 23-year-old defendant married a Mainland pregnant woman in Hong Kong in November 2012. 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. The Mainland pregnant woman attempted twice to enter Hong Kong with the defendant for delivery in March 2013 and the Immigration Department had made enquiries to them about the purpose of her visit. Due to doubts on the marital relationship between the Mainland pregnant woman and the defendant, the woman was refused permission to land by the Immigration Department on both occasions and she subsequently gave birth in the Mainland.
The defendant was arrested by the Immigration Department during the investigation. He admitted that he was paid around $10,000 as a 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 twice to an immigration officer that his marriage with the Mainland pregnant woman was genuine upon her arrival attempts in March 2013 so as to assist her entry to Hong Kong.
"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.