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Eight persons arrested in Crack Downs on Illegal Workers

Eight persons arrested

Hong Kong immigration authorities announced the conclusion of a three-day crackdown on illegal employment, codenamed “Greenlane”, “Twilight”, and “Windsand”, resulting in 8 arrests.

From November 7-9, Task Force officers from the Immigration Department (ImmD) conducted raids on 13 locations including factories, residential buildings, restaurants and a shopping mall. Five suspected illegal immigrant workers and two employers were taken into custody. Another individual was arrested for breaching the conditions of his visitor visa through unauthorized trading.

The ImmD warned that illegally working or employing immigrant workers carries steep penalties, with maximum fines of $50,000 and 3 years’ imprisonment for workers, and $500,000 and 10 years’ imprisonment for employers. Court sentencing guidelines also stipulate immediate jail time for those found employing undocumented immigrants.

According to an ImmD spokesman, employers have a legal duty to thoroughly vet candidates and cannot claim ignorance of a person’s immigration status as an excuse. It is also illegal to fail inspecting proper documents, such as a travel document in lieu of an identity card.

During operations, the ImmD conducts initial screenings of at-risk groups like workers and domestic helpers to identify any victims of human trafficking. Those displaying signs of coercion or exploitation are referred to support services including medical care, counseling and shelter.

The crackdown comes amid ongoing efforts to curb the flow of unauthorized immigrant labor and the abuse of vulnerable workers. The ImmD warned it would continue aggressive enforcement, urging businesses to comply with hiring laws or face prosecution. For illegal workers fearing reprisals, the department maintains open lines to safely report exploitation.