17 persons arrested in four-day anti-illegal worker operations
For four consecutive days, from August 1 to 4, the Immigration Department (ImmD) mounted a series of territory-wide anti-illegal worker operations codenamed “Greenlane”, “Lightshadow” and “Twilight”.
A total of 11 suspected illegal workers and six suspected employers were arrested on these days.
During the anti-illegal worker operations, ImmD Task Force officers raided 62 target locations, including food and beverage areas, food stalls, massage parlors, premises under renovation, residential buildings, restaurants, retail shops, a salon, a warehouse, and wet markets. Eleven suspected illegal workers and six suspected employers were arrested. The arrested suspected illegal workers comprised five men and six women, aged 24 to 60. Among them, four men and three women were holders of a recognizance form, which prohibits them from taking any employment. In addition, two men and two women were suspected of using and being in possession of forged Hong Kong identity cards.
An ImmD spokesman said, “Any person who contravenes a condition of stay in force in respect of him or her 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. 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 offenses.