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Hong Kong Resident Jailed for Aiding and Abetting the Transfer of HKSAR Passport

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"A gang of three was convicted of their respective charges of illegal transfer of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) passport," said a spokesman for the Immigration Department today (December 31).

Among them a male defendant WONG Cheung-yin, 48, pleaded guilty at the Kowloon City Magistracy today and was sentenced to 8 months' imprisonment for aiding and abetting the transfer of a HKSAR passport.

Another two persons convicted earlier this month in the case were CHOW Shuk-yee, female, 30, and her 32-years-old boyfriend CHAN Yung-sun. They were each convicted of one count of conspiracy to transfer to another without reasonable excuse a HKSAR passport. CHOW was also convicted of another count of making a false statement for the purpose of obtaining a HKSAR passport. Their cases were adjourned to January 3, 2003 at Kwun Tong Magistracy for sentencing.

Case revealed that Immigration investigators intercepted in July a mainlander woman, ZHENG Yaqin, when she intended to board a flight for Vancouver on strength of a forged HKSAR passport. After investigation, ZHENG was charged with one count of possession of forged travel document and was sentenced to 4 months' imprisonment on August 2.

Immigration investigators subsequently located the genuine holder of the HKSAR passport, that is CHOW and her boyfriend CHAN for investigation. Under caution, they admitted that WONG Cheung-yin had approached the two during Lunar New Year and proposed them to sell their passports. Since CHAN had lost his own, only CHOW's passport was handed over to WONG. WONG further coached CHOW to apply for a replacement. On 9 July, CHOW again followed WONG's instruction to go to the Hong Kong International Airport and underwent the check-in formalities to facilitate the departure of the mainlander woman. WONG then paid them a total of $6, 000 as reward.

The Immigration Department spokesman warned, "persons involve illegal transfer of any travel document as well as their aiders and abettors are liable to a maximum penalty of a fine of $150,000 and imprisonment for 14 years. Any person involves conspiracy in the illegal transfer activity of any travel document will receive the same penalty as the principal offenders."

End/Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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