Home Hong Kong Crackdown on Illegal Workers in Hong Kong Nets Over 27 Arrests

Crackdown on Illegal Workers in Hong Kong Nets Over 27 Arrests

Hong Kong’s Immigration Department has launched a series of coordinated raids targeting suspected illegal workers and employers, leading to over 20 arrests across the territory.

The operations, codenamed “Contribute”, “Twilight”, “Champion”, “Powerplayer” and “Windsand”, were conducted over four consecutive days from June 17 to June 20. In total, 16 suspected illegal workers, three suspected employers, one suspected aider and abettor, three overstayers and four illegal immigrants were apprehended.

During the raids, enforcement officers stormed 137 target locations including construction sites, restaurants, and retail shops. Among those arrested were five men and two women between the ages of 23 and 44 who were found to be working illegally, some while holding recognizance forms that prohibited them from employment.

“Any person who contravenes a condition of stay in force shall be guilty of an offence,” warned an Immigration Department spokesman. “Offenders are liable to prosecution and upon conviction face a maximum fine of $50,000 and up to two years’ imprisonment.”

The crackdown also netted two employers, aged 48 and 64, suspected of hiring the illegal workers, as well as a 73-year-old man accused of aiding and abetting breaches of immigration law. Overstayers and illegal immigrants were also apprehended during the sweeps.

Authorities stressed that employing people not legally authorized to work is a serious crime, with maximum penalties of a $500,000 fine and 10 years in prison. The department pledged to continue its resolute enforcement against such offenses.

The operations come as Hong Kong grapples with the complex issue of illegal labor, balancing the needs of employers and workers with strict immigration controls. Critics argue more can be done to protect vulnerable migrant workers, while supporters say the city must maintain a firm stance against unlawful employment.