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Fifteen immigration offenders arrested

     The Immigration Department and the Hong Kong Police Force jointly mounted a series of anti-illegal employment operations codenamed "Windsand" on March 9 and 11 in the New Territories North district. During the operations, 15 Mainland visitors comprising five men and 10 women aged 24 to 54 were arrested for breaching their conditions of stay by being involved in suspected parallel goods trading at Castle Peak Road - San Tin in Lok Ma Chau as well as Choi Fai Street and Advanced Technology Centre in Sheung Shui. The goods included milk powder, daily necessities, food, skin-care products, red wine and electronic products.

     Since September 2012, a number of "Windsand" operations have been conducted, during which a total of 1,985 Mainlanders and 14 Hong Kong residents were arrested for suspected involvement in parallel goods trading. Of these, 214 Mainlanders were prosecuted for breach of conditions of stay while the remaining 1,771 people were repatriated. Among those prosecuted, 203 out of 214 were sentenced to imprisonment for four weeks to three months, one is pending court hearing, and charges were withdrawn for another 10 people.

     "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/Thursday, March 12, 2015
Issued at HKT 16:55


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