Thirteen arrested during anti-illegal employment operation

     The Immigration Department today (February 27) mounted an anti-illegal employment operation. During the operation, officers raided black spots for parallel goods trading in the Sheung Shui district. Six male and seven female Mainland visitors, aged 33 to 53, were arrested on suspicion of breaching their conditions of stay by being involved in parallel goods trading at Po Shek Wu Road and San Wan Road. Officers also seized large amounts of milk powder and baby food during the operation.

     All the illegal workers were detained for investigation.

     "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," an Immigration Department spokesman said.

     The spokesman also appealed to employers not to employ illegal workers, warning that it is an offence to employ people who are not lawfully employable. The maximum penalty is a fine of $350,000 and imprisonment for three years. It is also an offence if an employer fails to inspect the job seeker's identity card or, if the job seeker does not have a Hong Kong permanent identity card, his or her valid travel document. The maximum penalty for failing to do so is a fine of $150,000 and imprisonment for one year. To deter unlawful employment, the High Court laid down sentencing guidelines in 2004 reaffirming that it is a serious offence to employ someone who is not legally employable, and stating that the employer of an illegal worker should be given an immediate custodial sentence.

Ends/Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Issued at HKT 18:54