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Nine immigration offenders arrested

     The Immigration Department yesterday (December 10) arrested five illegal workers and four suspected employers during a territory-wide anti-illegal workers operation codenamed "Twilight".

     Operation Twilight began at 10.30am and ended at 6pm yesterday. Immigration Task Force officers raided five target locations including restaurants, temporary stalls and a frozen food stall. The five illegal workers were women aged between 30 and 49. Two men and two women, whose ages ranged from 19 to 54, were suspected of employing the illegal workers.

     "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/Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Issued at HKT 16:43


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