19 April 2015
The Immigration Department and the Hong Kong Police Force jointly mounted a series of anti-illegal employment operations codenamed "Windsand" on April 18 and 19 in Sheung Shui District. During the operations, 33 Mainland visitors comprising 16 men and 17 women aged 22 to 75 were arrested for breaching their conditions of stay by being involved in suspected parallel goods trading at Ka Fu Close, Po Wan Road, San Wan Road, area around Shek Wu Hui Jockey Club Playground, Cambridge Plaza and Advanced Technology Centre. The goods included milk powder, diapers, skin-care products, daily necessities, food, mobile phones and other electronic products.
Since September 2012, a number of "Windsand" operations have been conducted, during which a total of 2 144 Mainlanders and 14 Hong Kong residents were arrested for suspected involvement in parallel goods trading. Of these, 215 Mainlanders were prosecuted for breach of conditions of stay and 16 are under investigation, while the remaining 1 913 people were repatriated. Of those prosecuted, 205 were sentenced to imprisonment for four weeks to three months while charges were withdrawn for 10 people.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.