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Twenty one arrested during anti-illegal employment operation "Windsand"

     The Immigration Department and the Hong Kong Police Force today (July 17) jointly mounted an anti-illegal employment operation codenamed "Windsand" in Sheung Shui district.

     During the operation, 21 Mainland visitors comprising 11 men and 10 women aged between 19 and 62 were arrested for breaching their conditions of stay by being involved in suspected parallel goods trading at San Wan Road, Ka Fu Close, San Hong Street and Fu Hing Street in Sheung Shui. Officers also seized diapers, milk powder, baby food, daily necessities and foods during the operation.

     All the arrestees were detained for questioning. The operation is still in progress.

     Since September 2012, a number of "Windsand" operations have been conducted, during which a total of 791 Mainlanders and 10 Hong Kong residents were arrested for suspected involvement in parallel goods trading. Of these, 105 Mainlanders were prosecuted for breach of conditions of stay, while the remaining 686 people were repatriated. Among those prosecuted, 96 out of 105 were sentenced to imprisonment for four weeks to two months. A court hearing is still pending for one person, and charges were withdrawn for another eight.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/Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Issued at HKT 19:27


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