21 March 2016
Six Vietnamese illegal workers holding Immigration recognisance forms and two Vietnamese illegal immigrants were jailed at Sha Tin Magistrates' Courts on March 19.
In an anti-illegal employment operation mounted on March 16 and 17, officers of the Immigration Department (ImmD) raided six target locations including restaurants and a refuse collection station in Causeway Bay, Wan Chai, Kwun Tong, Cheung Sha Wan, Yuen Long and Tuen Mun. Three male and five female illegal workers aged 23 to 56 were arrested. All of them are Vietnamese. When intercepted, they were washing dishes and glasses in the kitchens of restaurants or handling refuse at the refuse collection station. Upon identity checking, two men and four women were non-refoulement claimants and they produced for inspection recognisance forms, which prohibit them from taking employment, issued by ImmD. Furthermore, one man and one woman were found to be illegal immigrants. In addition, investigators at four locations seized four copies of Hong Kong identity cards which bore the portraits of one male arrestee and three female arrestees.
During the investigation, all the arrestees admitted to taking up employment illegally to earn money. Four of them also admitted to obtaining a forged Hong Kong identity card or a copy of a forged Hong Kong identity card for job seeking, and then presenting it in a job interview.
The eight arrestees were each charged by the Sha Tin Magistrates' Court on March 19 due to taking up employment after landing in Hong Kong unlawfully and remaining in Hong Kong without the authority of the Director of Immigration or while being a person in respect of whom a removal order or a deportation order was in force. They pleaded guilty to the charge and were sentenced to 15 months' imprisonment. Four of them also pleaded guilty to the use of a forged Hong Kong identity card or a copy of a forged Hong Kong identity card and were sentenced to imprisonment ranging from six months to 15 months. All charges are to run concurrently.
The spokesman warned that it is an offence for illegal immigrants or people who are the subject of a removal order or a deportation order to take any employment or to establish or join in any business. Offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and up to three years' imprisonment. The Court of Appeal has issued a guideline ruling that a sentence of 15 months' imprisonment should be applied in such cases. In addition, it is an offence to use or possess a forged Hong Kong identity card or a Hong Kong identity card related to another person. Offenders are liable to prosecution and a maximum penalty of a $100,000 fine and up to 10 years' imprisonment. Anyone who uses or is in possession of a forged instrument commits an offence. Offenders are liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, the maximum penalty is 14 years' imprisonment.