Five persons arrested during anti-illegal worker operations
For the last three consecutive days (May 3-5), a total of four suspected illegal workers and one suspected employer have been arrested by the Immigration Department (ImmD) in a series of territory-wide anti-illegal worker operations. The ImmD mounted a series of territory-wide anti-illegal worker operations codenamed “Lightshadow” and “Twilight”.
The arrested suspected illegal workers comprised one man and three women, aged 45 to 49. Furthermore, one man, aged 58, was suspected of employing the illegal workers.
25 target locations including food and beverage areas, a food stall, premises under renovation, a residential building, and restaurants were raided during the operations of the ImmD force officers.
In order 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, ImmD officers and a promotional vehicle have been deployed to distribute “Don’t Employ Illegal Workers” leaflets and convey the message to shop owners.
“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,” an ImmD spokesman said.
Offenders are liable upon conviction to a maximum fine of $50,000 and up to three years’ imprisonment. Under the prevailing laws, it is an offense 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 upon conviction face a maximum fine of $100,000 and up to 10 years’ imprisonment.
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.