3 February 2016
The Immigration Department (ImmD) has arrested two Hong Kong residents of Indian descent who are suspected of aiding and abetting others to make false representation to an immigration officer as well as overstay in Hong Kong.
The two arrested persons are respectively the manager and convener of a local hockey club, who had earlier invited an Indian hockey team to Hong Kong to participate in hockey activities. The 20 members of the team arrived from India at Hong Kong International Airport on October 1 last year. During immigration examination, the team members claimed that they were coming to participate in hockey activities and presented an invitation letter signed by the convener of the local hockey club concerned. Later, after successful entry to Hong Kong, seven of the team members were found to have overstayed in Hong Kong, and they then lodged claims for non-refoulement. The remaining 13 team members departed Hong Kong before their limit of stay expired.
After in-depth investigation, the ImmD discovered that the seven team members concerned had not been involved in any hockey activities during their stay in Hong Kong. The ImmD intends to make arrests, as they are suspected to have made false representation to immigration officers and breached their condition of stay due to overstaying. The two Hong Kong residents of Indian descent mentioned above were arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting others to make false representations to immigration officers and overstay in Hong Kong.
The enforcement action is still in progress and more suspects may be arrested. The ImmD will also follow up with its investigation on whether or not any person intentionally arranged for these persons to lodge claims for non-refoulement in Hong Kong.
Under the laws of Hong Kong, any person who makes false representation to an immigration officer commits an offence. Offenders are liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, are subject to the maximum penalty of a fine of $150,000 and imprisonment for 14 years. In addition, persons who breach their conditions of stay will be liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for two years. Aiders and abettors are also liable to prosecution and other penalties.