Home Hong Kong 19 Persons Arrested in Crack Down on Illegal Workers

19 Persons Arrested in Crack Down on Illegal Workers

19 persons arrested during anti-illegal worker operations

Hong Kong’s Immigration Department (ImmD) conducted a series of raids targeting suspected illegal workers and employers over a four-day period last week, leading to the arrest of 19 individuals.

The operations, codenamed “Greenlane,” “Lightshadow,” “Twilight,” “Champion,” and “Windsand,” saw enforcement officers sweep through 91 locations across the city, including construction sites, restaurants, and retail shops.

Among those apprehended were 11 suspected illegal workers, 3 suspected employers, 1 suspected aider and abettor, and 4 overstayers. The suspected illegal workers ranged in age from 22 to 57 years old, while the employers arrested were between 38 and 54 years old. A 40-year-old woman was also taken into custody for allegedly aiding someone in breaching their conditions of stay.

An additional 3 overstayers were arrested in a separate operation called “Champion,” which targeted locations in the Hung Hom and Kowloon City districts.

An ImmD spokesperson stressed that employing illegal workers is a serious offense, with penalties of up to a HK$500,000 fine and 10 years in prison. The spokesperson warned that the department will continue to take “resolute enforcement action” against such violations.

Employers are required by law to take reasonable steps to ensure prospective hires are legally permitted to work in Hong Kong, beyond simply checking their ID cards. Failure to do so can result in fines of up to HK$150,000 and one year in jail.

The crackdown underscores Hong Kong’s efforts to curb the employment of undocumented migrant workers, who can be vulnerable to exploitation. With the city’s economy rebounding from the pandemic, the push to enforce immigration laws appears to be intensifying.