Eleven arrested during anti-illegal employment operation "Windsand"

    The Immigration Department and the Hong Kong Police Force yesterday (June 27) jointly mounted an anti-illegal employment operation codenamed "Windsand" in Sheung Shui District. During the operation, 11 Mainland visitors comprising three men and eight women aged between 26 and 54 were arrested for breaching their conditions of stay by being involved in suspected parallel goods trading at Ka Fu Close and Choi Yuen Road in Sheung Shui. The goods involved milk powder, daily necessities, nutritional supplements and foods.    
     Since September 2012, a number of "Windsand" operations have been conducted, during which a total of 784 Mainlanders and 10 Hong Kong residents were arrested for suspected involvement in parallel goods trading. Of these, 105 Mainlanders were prosecuted for breach of condition of stay, while the remaining 679 people were repatriated. Among those prosecuted, 94 out of 105 were sentenced to imprisonment for four weeks to two months. A court hearing is still pending for three persons, and charges were withdrawn for another eight.

     "Visitors are not allowed to take up 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 Immigration Department will continue to take enforcement action with related law enforcement departments against the offences concerned," an Immigration Department spokesman said.

Ends/Friday, June 28, 2013
Issued at HKT 16:43