Over four consecutive days, the Immigration Department (ImmD) in collaboration with the Hong Kong Police Force and the Labour Department conducted a series of operations resulting in the arrest of 20 suspected illegal workers, seven suspected employers, six overstayers, and one person in violation of their stay conditions in Hong Kong.
During the crackdown on illegal workers, the ImmD Task Force officers targeted 60 locations, including a massage parlor, restaurants, and retail shops. In the process, three illegal workers and three suspected employers were apprehended. Among the arrested illegal workers were two women and one man, ranging in age from 21 to 49. Notably, one man was found to be in possession of a forged Hong Kong identity card. Additionally, three women, aged 44, were arrested on suspicion of employing the illegal workers.
Simultaneously, enforcement officers conducted operations in several districts, including the Central District, Eastern District, Wan Chai District, and Western District. They raided 196 locations, resulting in the apprehension of 15 suspected illegal workers, four suspected employers, six overstayers, and one person in violation of their stay conditions. Among the arrested illegal workers were 14 women and one man, aged 26 to 49. Five of the women were holders of recognizance forms, which forbade them from engaging in any form of employment. Furthermore, two women were found to be in possession of Hong Kong identity cards that belonged to other individuals. Two men and two women were apprehended on suspicion of employing the illegal workers, while two male and four female overstayers were also arrested. Additionally, a 29-year-old male Mainland fisherman deckhand, who breached his stay conditions, was taken into custody. Out of the total arrests, the ImmD was responsible for handling 13 suspected illegal workers, four suspected employers, five overstayers, and one person in violation of their stay conditions.
During the operations, two mainland visitors, aged 36 and 41, were arrested in Sheung Shui district for breaching their stay conditions by allegedly participating in suspected parallel goods trading. The goods involved in the illicit activity included milk powder and healthcare products.
An ImmD spokesperson underlined the seriousness of contravening stay conditions, stating, “Any person who contravenes a condition of stay in force in respect of him or her shall be guilty of an offense.” Visitors are strictly prohibited from engaging in any form of paid or unpaid employment without prior permission from the Director of Immigration. Violators will face prosecution, with the possibility of a maximum fine of $50,000 and up to two years of imprisonment. It is essential to note that those who aid or abet such offenses are also liable to face prosecution and appropriate penalties.
As authorities continue their efforts to maintain immigration regulations and crack down on illicit activities, these operations serve as a reminder to individuals in Hong Kong to adhere to the laws and regulations governing their stay and employment status.