Enforcement and Torture Claim Assessment Branch

Organisation Chart of the Enforcement and Torture Claim Assessment BranchOrganisation Chart of the Enforcement and
Torture Claim Assessment Branch

Under the command of an Assistant Director, the Enforcement and Torture Claim Assessment Branch comprises the Enforcement Division and the Torture Claim Assessment Division. Each division is headed by a Principal Immigration Officer.

The Enforcement Division is responsible for formulating and implementing policies in respect of investigation, deportation and removal. The Torture Claim Assessment Division is responsible for handling torture claims made under Part VIIC of the Immigration Ordinance (such claims were formerly processed under the administrative screening mechanism before December 3, 2012), matters relating to prosecution of immigration offenders and litigation cases relating to removal, deportation and torture claim matters. It is also responsible for the management of the Castle Peak Bay Immigration Centre for the detention of persons of 18 years old or above.

Investigation and Intelligence

The Immigration Department has made concerted efforts to uphold the laws of Hong Kong by investigating into offences under the Immigration Ordinance and the Registration of Persons Ordinance, and offences relating to the registration of births, deaths and marriages in Hong Kong; instituting removal and deportation proceedings against illegal immigrants and undesirables; and maintaining intelligence on global immigration matters.

Anti-Illegal Migration Agency

To further strengthen law enforcement actions against the use of forged travel documents and human smuggling activities at the Airport, the Department established an Airport Investigation Group (AIG) when the Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok came into operation on July 6, 1998. AIG together with the Tactical Intelligence Group (TIG) were put under the management of the Anti-Illegal Migration Agency (AIM) since its formation on June 28, 2004. The main charter of AIM includes investigation of forgery and illegal migration cases intercepted at the Hong Kong International Airport, focused investigations on forgery syndicates relating to abuse of HKSAR passports, and collection and analysis of the latest trend of modus operandi of forgery syndicates and users.

Mainland Illegal Immigration

In 2012, the number of Mainland illegal immigrants intercepted was 1 286, representing a decrease of 21.2 per cent when compared with 1 631 arrested in 2011. Some of the illegal immigrants came to Hong Kong to take up unlawful employment while some came here to meet their families and relatives. The number of Mainland illegal immigrants involved in sex work decreased from 233 in 2011 to 168 in 2012. The number of surrendered pregnant Mainland illegal immigrants in 2012 was three, representing a decrease of 50 per cent when compared with six in 2011.

After the gazettal of the application procedures for the Certificate of Entitlement in July 1999, the number of surrendered minor illegal immigrants from the Mainland declined sharply. In 2011, there was only one surrender case and there was none in 2012.

Unlawful Employment

During the year, the Department maintained high vigilance on the problem of illegal workers and continued to take tough and effective enforcement actions against unlawful employment of illegal immigrants, visitors, foreign domestic helpers and imported workers who were subject to specific employment conditions to protect the local labour market. Measures taken included publication of related government policies and regulations, and frequent surprise checks on factories, restaurants, food production factories, shops, markets, foot reflexology centres, residential and commercial premises under renovation, cemeteries, refuse collection points and waste materials recycling factories, container depots and warehouses situated in the border and rural districts in the New Territories. In 2012, 5 849 illegal workers, including 3 619 persons engaged in sex work, were arrested, representing an increase of 4.1 per cent as compared with 5 621 in 2011. Most of the illegal workers were prosecuted and fined or imprisoned before repatriation to their places of domicile. Besides, after the enactment of section 38AA of the Immigration Ordinance on November 14, 2009, which prohibits illegal immigrants or people who are subject of a removal order or deportation order from taking any employment, whether paid or unpaid, or from establishing or joining in any business, the Department conducted 37 428 operations against illegal employment with 12 729 illegal workers and 1 644 employers arrested. Among the arrested illegal workers, 554 were suspected of breaching the said ordinance.

Immigration investigators conducting surprise checks at various locations to combat illegal employment.Immigration investigators conducting surprise checks at various locations to combat illegal employment.Immigration investigators conducting surprise checks at various
locations to combat illegal employment.

To combat offences relating to parallel trade activities, the Department has stepped up enforcement actions by mounting a series of anti-illegal worker operations codenamed 'Windsand' since September 2012. As at the end of 2012, a total of 21 operations were conducted with the apprehension of 471 Mainland visitors for breaching their conditions of stay by being involved in suspected parallel goods trading, and 8 local employers on suspicion of employing illegal workers. Among them, 76 Mainland visitors were convicted and sentenced to imprisonment ranging from four weeks to two months. According to the existing mechanism, the Department passed the particulars of those Mainland visitors who had been convicted for illegal employment in Hong Kong to the Mainland authorities for cancellation of their exit endorsements and they would be prohibited from visiting Hong Kong for two years. For persons suspected of being involved in parallel trading but who had not been prosecuted, their future arrival would be closely scrutinised. They will be refused entry and repatriated to the Mainland if their purposes of visit are dubious.

The Department made concerted efforts to combat offences involving parallel trade activities.The Department made concerted efforts to combat offences involving parallel trade activities.The Department made concerted efforts to combat offences involving
parallel trade activities.

To strengthen crime prevention measures and enforcement actions against illegal activities, including unlawful employment, an inter-departmental task force comprising the Immigration Department, Hong Kong Police Force, Customs and Excise Department, Labour Department, Correctional Services Department and Food and Environmental Hygiene Department was set up in April 2003.

Besides, for enhancing the effectiveness of curbing the problem of unlawful employment, the Department set up an Anti-illegal Workers Combat Squad in January 2005 to provide a more speedy and robust combat force against illegal workers and their employers. The squad conducts plain-clothes patrol duties at black spots of illegal workers and takes speedy actions on reports of unlawful employment.

'Don't employ illegal workers' poster'Don't employ illegal
workers' poster

Employers of illegal workers were also prosecuted. In 2012, 358 employers were prosecuted for employing illegal workers. Many of the prosecuted employers were sentenced to jail. As a deterrent measure against unlawful employment, the Court of Appeal (CA) laid down a sentencing guideline in September 2004 reaffirming that employing a person not lawfully employable is a serious offence and the employer of an illegal worker should be sentenced to an immediate custodial sentence even for the first offence. The CA also stated that the presence of aggravating features, such as an element of exploitation, multiple employment of illegal workers or that the offence is a repeated one, will in most cases substantially increase the guideline sentence.

To prevent illegal workers from taking up renovation works in public and private housing estates, the Department issued guidelines to enhance proper record keeping of flats under renovation and the particulars of the flat owners, contractors and workers. As a result, the number of illegal workers taking up renovation work in well-managed housing estates decreased.

On the issue of illegal workers using or in possession of a forged or other person’s identity card, the CA handed down a sentencing guideline in March 2005. The Court found that for an offence of possession of a forged/other person’s identity card, even when the offender’s presence in Hong Kong is legal, the sentence should be 12 months’ imprisonment after a guilty plea. If the forged/other person’s identity card had been presented/used to conceal one’s status, so as to seek unlawful employment or to further one’s illegal stay in Hong Kong, the sentence should be 15 months’ imprisonment after a guilty plea.

An Announcement of Public Interest reminding employers about the consequence of hiring illegal workers.An Announcement of Public
Interest reminding employers
about the consequence of hiring
illegal workers.

Besides, apart from the existing Announcement in the Public Interest (API) on television to remind the public of not employing illegal workers, the Department has since March 1, 2010 launched an API on radio in Punti dialect, Putonghua and English to raise public awareness of the serious consequences of employing illegal workers who are holding immigration recognizance forms. The API highlights the sentencing guideline and aims to disseminate the message to members of the public that employers of illegal workers will be given immediate custodial sentence.

The Department encourages members of the public to provide information on unlawful employment by letter (address: 5/F, Skyline Tower, 39 Wang Kwong Road, Kowloon Bay, Kowloon), through the Department’s 24-hour hotline (2824 1551), by fax (2824 1166) or e-mail([email protected]).

'Online Reporting of Immigration Offences’ service'Online Reporting of Immigration
Offences’ service

To provide members of the public an additional venue for reporting suspected immigration offences, the Department has implemented the ‘Online Reporting of Immigration Offences’ (www.gov.hk/orio). Members of the public can make use of this service to submit an online report to the Department of suspected immigration offences, e.g. overstaying and employing illegal workers, etc. The Department will, through various channels, continue combating unlawful employment and appeal to members of the public not to employ illegal workers.

Immigration Task Force

Apart from conducting enforcement operations against immigration offenders, the Immigration Task Force also reinforces offices which require additional manpower resources to cope with the upsurge of workload. During the year, 13 221 enforcement operations, including 435 large-scale joint operations with other government departments, were conducted. A total of 4 544 immigration offenders were arrested.

Immigration Task Force will conduct sophisticated planning prior to enforcement operations.Immigration Task Force will conduct sophisticated planning prior to enforcement operations.Immigration Task Force will conduct sophisticated planning
prior to enforcement operations.

During the year, to cope with the prevailing trend of unlawful employment, the Task Force conducted a number of special operations codenamed ‘Twilight’, 'Champion’ and ‘Flabbergast’ targeting illegal workers working in various businesses. To protect job opportunities for the local workforce, the Task Force will continue stepping up enforcement actions against illegal workers and their employers.

The Department from time to time distributes leaflets to store-keepers and appeals to them not to employ illegal workers.The Department from time to
time distributes leaflets to store-
keepers and appeals to them
not to employ illegal workers.

To step up publicity campaigns against the hiring of persons not lawfully employable and to raise public awareness of the serious consequences of unlawful employment, a special team and a propaganda vehicle are often deployed to station at black spots of illegal workers. On the other hand, the Department from time to time distributes ‘Don’t Employ Illegal Workers’ leaflets to store-keepers and disseminates the message in the talks or seminars organised by estate management companies, other government departments and public organisations.

Investigations into Forged Documents

The Department is extremely concerned about the use of forged travel documents, either for illegal migration, crimes or terrorism. Such illicit activities pose threat to immigration control and the security of the countries concerned and undermine the probity of the passports being forged. As syndicated forgery activity is a global problem, the Department works closely with the local, Mainland and overseas law enforcement agencies. Resolute actions are taken to detect the use of forged travel documents by travellers and illegal migrants who are in transit through Hong Kong to other countries. In 2012, the Department conducted 28 219 anti-forgery operations, representing an increase of 9% as compared with 25 985 in 2011. The number of forged travel documents detected decreased by 17 per cent to 688 as compared to 829 in 2011. Consequential to our continuous and stringent enforcement measures in curbing forgery activities, the deterrent effect was obvious.

Since the issue of Hong Kong smart identity cards in June 2003, the Hong Kong smart identity card has become a target of forgery syndicates. In various operations conducted by the Department in 2012, a total of 35 forged Hong Kong smart identity cards were seized. To tackle the problem, the Department will continue to conduct various operations, intelligence collation and information exchange with relevant parties.

Our staff uses sophisticated equipment in the detection of forged documents.Our staff uses sophisticated equipment
in the detection of forged documents.

To achieve more effective results, the Department uses sophisticated equipment to assist in the detection of forged documents. Such equipment includes the Electronic Documentation of Information System on Networks (EDISON), which is a computerised system keeping a large collection of digitised colour images of genuine travel document specimens. The Department is also equipped with Video Spectral Comparators which are particularly effective in the immediate detection of forged and unlawfully altered documents.

The Department also makes use of compact hand-held forensic devices and forged document detectors to enable frontline officers to conduct quick examination of doubtful documents on the spot as well as the Face Recognition System (FACES) which is an effective ancillary tool in enhancing the detection of cases of multiple identities.

In addition, the Department uses advanced investigative analysis software and forensic system to assist in the investigation and for detail analysis of intelligence on forgery and migrant trafficking syndicate activities.

Operational Research

The Operational Research Section is responsible for collecting, analysing and disseminating information relating to matters of interest to the Department. It keeps track of the modus operandi of human smuggling and the trends on the use of forged travel documents.

The work of the section not only enables the provision of intelligence on immigration matters to the staff within the Department but also enhances the exchange of intelligence with other government bodies, consulates and counterparts of the Mainland and overseas.

During the year, workshops on the identification of forged travel documents and forged Hong Kong smart identity cards were given to our in-service officers, local, Mainland and overseas enforcement agencies. Moreover, talks on security features of Hong Kong smart identity cards and detection points of forged Hong Kong smart identity cards were delivered to personnel of other government departments, financial institutions and the legal sector who were regularly involved in the handling of identification documents.

The section also maintains an Enforcement Exhibition Gallery. The gallery highlights the diversity of work and various achievements of the Enforcement Division through the display of photographs, reports of enforcement actions, seized exhibits and various kinds of enforcement equipment. Besides, the gallery stores over 35 000 forgery items unearthed by the Department. These items include forged documents such as passports, identity cards, certificates and implements fit for forgery such as stamps and dies. Specimens are also displayed for training and exhibition purposes.

In combating transnational illegal migration activities, the Department maintains a close liaison and actively involves in the exchange of immigration intelligence with Mainland and overseas law enforcement agencies.In combating transnational illegal migration activities,
the Department maintains a close liaison and actively
involves in the exchange of immigration intelligence
with Mainland and overseas law enforcement agencies.
Workshops on the identification of forged travel documents and forged Hong Kong smart identity cardsWorkshops on the identification
of forged travel documents and
forged Hong Kong smart identity cards

Prosecution, Deportation and Removal

In 2012, 6 790 charges were laid against persons who had committed offences under the Immigration Ordinance, the Registration of Persons Ordinance, and offences relating to the registration of births, deaths and marriages in Hong Kong. Under section 38AA of the Immigration Ordinance which came into effect on November 14, 2009, illegal immigrants or persons who are subject to a removal order or deportation order must not take any employment or establish or join any business. A person committing the offence is liable to a fine of $50,000 and to imprisonment for three years. As at the end of 2012, 483 offenders were prosecuted.

The Department also processes deportation and removal order applications to keep out undesirables. In 2012, 617 and 1 144 persons were deported and removed respectively from Hong Kong.

Ma Tau Kok Detention Centre

Ma Tau Kok Detention CentreMa Tau Kok Detention Centre

The Department’s detention centre at Ma Tau Kok has been operating since February 1998. The centre runs round-the-clock and can accommodate up to 87 detainees at any one time. In 2012, there were 16 673 immigration offenders admitted to the detention centre.

Castle Peak Bay Immigration Centre

The Castle Peak Bay Immigration Centre (CIC) is an immigration detention facility for detaining immigration offenders (18 years old or above) who are awaiting repatriation / removal / deportation in accordance with the Immigration Ordinance. Since the Department took over the management and operation of the CIC from the Correctional Services Department (CSD) on April 15, 2010, it has been running smoothly. In 2012, there were 7 249 detainees admitted to the CIC pending removal / deportation.

Castle Peak Bay Immigration Centre provides round-the-clock detention facilities for immigration offenders.Castle Peak Bay Immigration Centre provides round-the-clock detention facilities for immigration offenders. Castle Peak Bay Immigration Centre provides round-the-clock
detention facilities for immigration offenders.

In view of different nature of work between managing the CIC and other immigration work, members of the Immigration Service responsible for the operation of the CIC have to receive necessary training in relation to the management of a detention centre. The training courses last for three weeks, including a one-week Detention Centre Management Course and a two-week tactical training. The Detention Centre Management Course focuses on the daily operation of a detention centre while the tactical training is concerned with staff’s response during riotous situation. As a requisite for the renewal of the exemption permit under the Firearms and Ammunition Ordinance by the Police Licensing Office, members of the Immigration Service are required to undergo refresher training organised by the CSD four times annually so that they are qualified to carry and use anti-riot equipment in the centre.

Members of the Immigration Service responsible for the operation of the CIC receiving tactical training.Members of the Immigration Service responsible for the operation of the CIC receiving tactical training.Members of the Immigration Service responsible for the operation of the CIC receiving tactical training. Members of the Immigration Service responsible for the operation of the CIC receiving tactical training.

Torture Claim Assessment

The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the Convention against Torture) has been applied to Hong Kong since 1992. Pursuant to a Court of Final Appeal (CFA) judgment in a judicial review case in June 2004, the HKSAR Government has put in place an administrative screening mechanism for handling torture claims made under Article 3 of the Convention against Torture. Since then, there has been an upsurge in the number of torture claims made by persons coming mainly from the South Asian and African countries. Inquiries revealed that most of these torture claimants lodged their torture claims only after they had been arrested for contravening the laws in Hong Kong, notified of their removal or rejected by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) of their refugee claims.

Staff of the Torture Claim Assessment Section conducting assessment interview.Staff of the Torture Claim Assessment Section
conducting assessment interview.

Pursuant to the judgment handed down by the Court of First Instance on December 5, 2008 which held, inter alia, that the blanket policy of denying legal representation to torture claimants were unlawful and failed to meet the high standards of fairness, the Administration had revised the administrative screening mechanism for torture claims and the enhanced mechanism commenced on December 24, 2009. In July 2012, the Legislative Council passed the Immigration (Amendment) Ordinance 2012 (the Ordinance) which underpins the enhanced administrative mechanism for torture claims. It came into operation on December 3, 2012. The Ordinance provides a statutory process for making and determining claims, including how a torture claim is made, the time limit for a claimant to return the torture claim form, the requirements for the Department to arrange screening interviews and issue written notices of decision, how a claimant who is aggrieved by the decision may lodge an appeal to be handled by a statutory Torture Claims Appeal Board, etc. For torture claimants who have failed to establish their claims, they will be removed from Hong Kong in accordance with the laws of Hong Kong. Torture claimants whose claims are established will not be removed to places where there are substantial grounds for believing that they would be in danger of being subjected to torture. However, removal to places where they may be admitted without the danger of being subjected to torture may be considered. Furthermore, if the torture risk giving rise to the claim has ceased to exist due to changes in circumstances of the claimant or the torture risk state, removal to that place may be considered.

In 2012, a total of 1 174 torture claim cases were received, decreasing by 18 per cent from 1 432 cases in 2011. The claimants mainly came from South or Southeast Asian countries. As at the end of 2012, the Department processed 4 055 claims, of which 90 per cent were provided with publicly funded legal assistance. Of those, decisions were made on 2 721 claims. At present, there are 4 892 outstanding cases. The Department believes that the statutory mechanism can uphold high standards of fairness and prevent procedural abuse.

Under the statutory scheme, an unsuccessful torture claimant may lodge an appeal against the decision made by the Immigration Department to the Torture Claims Appeal Board (Appeal Board) within 14 days after written notice of the decision is given to him or her. The Appeal Board comprises a Chairperson, two Deputy Chairpersons and five members as appointed by the Chief Executive. It may determine an appeal without a hearing if, having regarded to the material before it and the nature of the issues raised, it is satisfied that the appeal can be justly determined without a hearing. As at the end of 2012, a total of 1 335 torture claim appeals (formerly known as petitions under the enhanced administrative mechanism) were received, among which 1 187 cases were finalised and rejected (including 53 oral hearings conducted). If a torture claimant is aggrieved by the refusal of his or her appeal, he or she may apply for judicial review to challenge the refusal decision.

Combating Mainland Pregnant Women Coming to Hong Kong for Confinement by Illegal Means

The Department is committed to combating Mainland pregnant women giving birth in Hong Kong through illicit means. In 2012, the Department prosecuted 359 Mainland women who had overstayed to give birth in Hong Kong and 3 Mainland pregnant women who gave birth in Hong Kong through illicit means. They were all convicted and sentenced up to eight months’ imprisonment.

The Department has also stepped up enforcement actions against intermediaries involving in illicit activities to assist Mainland pregnant women to give birth in Hong Kong. The first case was detected in early 2012. A Mainland intermediary was subsequently sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment for breach of conditions of stay and making false representation to an immigration officer. As at the end of 2012, four Mainland intermediaries were successfully prosecuted and were sentenced to jail terms ranging from 9 weeks to 10 months.

To crack down on illegal hostels for Mainland pregnant women, the Department has worked closely with the Hong Kong Police Force and the Office of the Licensing Authority of the Home Affairs Department in exchanging intelligence and conducting joint operations since February 2012. In 2012, over 40 joint operations were conducted to inspect unlicensed guesthouses to deter non-local pregnant women from entering Hong Kong early in order to evade immigration examination.

Combating Illegal Migration and Human Smuggling

Hong Kong is a metropolitan city and an international traffic hub. Forgery facilitators and illegal migrants tend to make use of Hong Kong’s extensive and convenient transportation network as a transit point to seek entry overseas. The Department undertakes an active role in combating illegal activities and contributes in containing and preventing illegal migration from dispersion as well as preventing Hong Kong from being used as a springboard for human smuggling activities. The Special Investigation Section, formed in early 1980s, is specialised in the investigation of organised immigration offences, including human smuggling activities, occurring in or involving Hong Kong. It works closely with other law enforcement agencies in Hong Kong, the Mainland and overseas with the mutual aim to combat organised human smuggling activities.

During the year, the Department joined hands with the Hong Kong Police Force to conduct a joint operation codenamed ‘Speed Well’ to combat syndicated activities in arranging Mainland women to Hong Kong for sex work. During the operation, 30 Mainland women and 3 Thai females were arrested for breaching their conditions of stay.

Immigration investigators mounting surveillance at the Hong Kong International Airport to identify suspicious passengers.Immigration investigators
mounting surveillance at the
Hong Kong International Airport to
identify suspicious passengers.

The Department, from time to time, conducts interdiction exercises at the Hong Kong International Airport to apprehend forged travel document users and forgery syndicate members. The exercises include operations on arrival and departure flights, spot checks of travel documents of arriving and departing passengers inside the transit lounge, at boarding gates and the SkyPier as well as surveillance operations. During the large-scale interdiction exercises carried out in July 2012, around 430 departure / arrival flights and arrival ferries from the SkyPier together with over 770 passengers were spot-checked.

In September and October 2012, a joint tripartite operation codenamed ‘Snapshots’ was conducted by the Hong Kong Immigration Department, the Federal Police of Germany and the Royal Marechaussee of the Netherlands at the Hong Kong International Airport, Frankfurt Airport and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport respectively. The operation aimed at combating illegal migration activities and establishing sustainable tripartite contacts for operation and intelligence matters. In December 2012, the Department continued to conduct a special joint operation codenamed ‘Sky League’ at the Hong Kong International Airport with the participation of the local consulate representatives from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States as advisers or observers. The operation aimed at detecting document fraud and forgery users, interdicting illegal migration activities, deterring irregularities in passenger traffic and strengthening co-operation with the local consulates in combating illegal migration.

Besides, the Department is very concerned with the illegal entries of nationals of South Asian and African countries from the Mainland. In order to combat the problem, close liaison and intelligence exchange are maintained with the Hong Kong Police Force and the Mainland authorities for joint efforts in combating such illicit activities.

The Operational Research Section and Tactical Intelligence Group of Anti-Illegal Migration Agency closely monitor the latest trends on illegal migrants as well as the modus operandi adopted by human smuggling syndicates. They maintain close liaison with the local, Mainland and overseas authorities and representatives of foreign counterparts on the exchange of relevant intelligence and trends. Frontline officers would be alerted whenever new trends on forged travel documents and illegal migration are observed.

Combating Bogus Marriages

The Department has grave concerns about non-Hong Kong residents obtaining stay in Hong Kong by means of bogus marriages. These people contracted bogus marriages with Hong Kong residents in order to gain entry into Hong Kong and eventually for settlement.

On December 18, 2006, the Department set up a special task force to collate intelligence through various sources and to conduct thorough investigation with a view to taking prosecution actions against offenders. In December 2011, the Department successfully smashed a syndicate arranging cross-boundary bogus marriages and arrested 19 Hong Kong residents, including 2 core syndicate members. 5 persons were convicted and sentenced to imprisonment ranging from 10 to 15 months.

To further combat bogus marriage cases, the Marriage Registries of our Department have stepped up checking on suspected cases, while the Investigation Sub-division has also initiated investigation into any suspected bogus marriages. With the new measures in place, a number of suspected cases were swiftly detected and the persons involved were convicted of relevant offences.

In 2012, a total of 240 persons, including the bogus couples and syndicated members, were prosecuted for offences relating to bogus marriages. Persons convicted of such offences were sentenced to imprisonment ranging from 4 to 32 months.

For persons who have obtained their residence in Hong Kong by fraudulent means, their Hong Kong identity cards and residence status will be invalidated according to the laws of Hong Kong. They will also be subject to removal to their places of origin.

Exchange of Intelligence

The Department actively participated in international and regional conferences and seminars to facilitate the exchange of intelligence and proactive actions in combating illegal migration activities.The Department actively participated in
international and regional conferences
and seminars to facilitate the exchange
of intelligence and proactive actions in
combating illegal migration activities.

In the fight against illegal migration, exchange of information and intelligence on global human smuggling activities and forgery trends is of utmost importance. The Department discusses issues on illegal migration, crimes and terrorism through frequent and regular meetings with major local consular missions. In 2012, the Department actively participated in international and regional conferences and seminars, e.g. a representative from the Department was invited to attend the ‘4th Meeting of the Technical Experts Group on Irregular Movements’ held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. At the meeting, the Hong Kong representative briefed member countries on the actions taken by the law enforcement agencies to combat human smuggling and the Operation ‘Sky League’ conducted at the Hong Kong International Airport. The Department also attended the ‘2nd Latin American Congress of Migration on Crime Prevention of the Trafficking in Persons in Latin America’ held in Medellin, Colombia, the ‘10th Anniversary Commemorative Conference of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime for Senior Officials’ held in Bali, Indonesia and the ‘7th Symposium on Police Studies of the Strait cum Hong Kong and Macao on Strategies on the Control of Cross Border Organised Crime’ held in Macao. The Department has successfully established an effective communication network as well as working relationship with foreign counterparts in facilitating exchange of intelligence and proactive actions in combating illegal migration activities. Useful intelligence that may help detecting, disrupting or suppressing illegal migration activities is promptly disseminated through the established mechanism.

In combating transnational illegal migration activities, the Department maintains a close liaison and actively involves in the exchange of immigration intelligence with local consulate officials, Mainland and overseas law enforcement agencies.