16 arrested for illegally working, employing illegal workers, and being aider and abettor: ImmD and HK Police Force

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The Immigration Department mounted a series of territory-wide anti-illegal worker operations codenamed "Twilight", and joint operations with the Hong Kong Police Force codenamed "Champion" and "Windsand", for four consecutive days from July 24 to July 27. Photo shows suspected illegal workers arrested during an operation.

A four-day operation spearheaded by the Immigration Department (ImmD) in collaboration with the Hong Kong Police Force led to the arrests of 14 suspected illegal workers, one suspected employer and one suspected aider, and an abettor.

“Any person who contravenes a condition of stay in force in respect of him or her shall be guilty of an offense,” said an ImmD spokesperson.

“Also, visitors are not allowed to take 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 HK$50,000 and up to two years’ imprisonment. Aiders and abetters are also liable to prosecution and penalties.”

Codename “Twilight” under the guise of the Immigration Department (ImmD), ImmD Task Force officers raided 18 premises which include commercial buildings, a massage parlor, areas under renovation, restaurants, and retail shops. Seven suspected illegal workers and one suspected employer were arrested. Two men and five women, aged 33 to 52 were suspected of illegal work. One female arrestee was a holder of a recognizance form that prohibits her from taking employment while another arrested man, 43,  was suspected of employing the illegal workers.

The Hong Kong Police Force mounted two operations: “Champion” and “Windsand.”

Under Operation “Champion,” enforcement officers raided 117 venues in Central and in Western districts, including a laundry, premises under renovation, and restaurants. 

Six women, aged 27 to 46, were arrested for suspicion of illegal work. Another woman, aged 74, was arrested for aiding and abetting a person who breached the condition of stay in Hong Kong.

Under Operation “Windsand,” a male mainland visitor, aged 26, was arrested for breaching his condition of stay. He was suspected of doing illegal parallel trading activities on Po Wan Road in the Sheung Shui district.

Further, the spokesperson said that under “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 upon conviction to a maximum fine of HK$50,000 and up to three years imprisonment.”

Employers must take all practicable steps to determine whether a person is lawfully employable prior to employment.