11 persons arrested during anti-illegal worker operations

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The Immigration Department mounted a series of territory-wide anti-illegal worker operations codenamed "Twilight" on July 25 and 27. Photo shows suspected illegal workers arrested during an operation.

The Immigration Department (ImmD) mounted a series of territory-wide anti-illegal worker operations codenamed “Twilight” on July 25 and 27. A total of eight suspected illegal workers, two suspected employers, and one suspected aider and abettor were arrested.

During the anti-illegal worker operations, ImmD Task Force officers raided six target locations including premises under renovation, residential buildings and a vegetable stall. Eight suspected illegal workers, two suspected employers, and one suspected aider and abettor were arrested. The arrested suspected illegal workers comprised one man and seven women, aged 28 to 45. Among them, one woman was a holder of a recognizance form, which prohibits her from taking any employment. Furthermore, one man and one woman, aged 59 and 62, were suspected of employing the illegal workers and were also arrested. Meanwhile, one woman, aged 49, suspected of aiding and abetting persons who breached their conditions of stay in Hong Kong, was also arrested.

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An ImmD spokesman said, “Any person who contravenes a condition of stay in force in respect of them shall be guilty of an offense. Also, visitors are not allowed to take employment in Hong Kong, whether paid or unpaid, without the permission of the Director of Immigration. As stipulated in section 38AA of the Immigration Ordinance, an illegal immigrant, a person who is the subject of a removal order or a deportation order, an overstayer or a person who was refused permission to land is prohibited from taking any employment, whether paid or unpaid or establishing or joining in any business. 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 spokesman reiterated that it is a serious offense to employ people who are not lawfully employable. Under the Immigration Ordinance, the maximum penalty for an employer employing a person who is not lawfully employable, i.e. an illegal immigrant, a person who is the subject of a removal order or a deportation order, an overstayer or a person who was refused permission to land, has been significantly increased from a fine of $350,000 and three years’ imprisonment to a fine of $500,000 and 10 years’ imprisonment to reflect the gravity of such offences.