Eleven immigration offenders arrested

     The Immigration Department yesterday (March 3) arrested eight illegal workers and three suspected employers during a territory-wide anti-illegal workers operation codenamed "Twilight".

     Operation Twilight began at 11am and ended at 9.30pm yesterday. Immigration Task Force officers raided 11 target locations including an office, restaurants, a warehouse and exhibition stalls. The eight illegal workers comprised five men and three women aged from 25 to 43. Among them, one man was suspected of being in possession of and using a forged Hong Kong identity card, and another man was suspected of being in possession of and using a Hong Kong identity card which relates to another person. Two men and one woman aged from 35 to 45 were suspected of employing the illegal workers.
     All the illegal workers were detained for questioning.
     "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 warned that it was an offence to use or possess a forged Hong Kong identity card. Offenders are liable to prosecution and a maximum penalty of a $100,000 fine and up to 10 years' imprisonment.

     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, March 4, 2014
Issued at HKT 15:58