20th November 2023 – (Hong Kong) Police successfully apprehended four non-Chinese male individuals suspected of illegal immigration. The incident unfolded when the suspects, believed to have entered the city unlawfully, disembarked at Cape D’Aguilar and subsequently boarded a bus bound for Shau Kei Wan.
Acting swiftly upon receiving a tip-off, the police, accompanied by sniffer dogs, intercepted the suspects in the vicinity of Shau Kei Wan. The operation took place at the junction of Mong Lung Street and Po Man Street. Two men, one of Bangladeshi nationality and the other of Pakistani origin, were promptly detained. Notably, their attire appeared damp, suggesting possible involvement in illicit border crossings.
Continuing their efforts, law enforcement officers later apprehended two additional non-Chinese male individuals in connection with the case. The investigation remains ongoing as authorities work diligently to ascertain further details regarding the incident and identify any more potential illegal immigrants.
According to the Immigration Department, the figures also reflect that in October alone, authorities intercepted 393 illegal immigrants, with 364 of them being non-Chinese nationals. These numbers represent the highest count for both categories so far this year, with an increase of nearly 88% and 89.6% respectively compared to the previous month. Additionally, the Immigration Department received a total of 1,385 non-refoulement claims in the first 10 months of this year, indicating an increase of approximately 33.6% compared to the same period last year. The department stated that non-Chinese illegal immigrants mainly enter Hong Kong via water routes, while others use land routes. They emphasised their commitment to ongoing joint anti-illegal immigration operations with local law enforcement agencies and have strengthened intelligence exchanges with relevant mainland law enforcement agencies.
The department also revealed that an average of nearly 1,500 anti-illegal worker operations were conducted per month in the first 10 months of this year, showing an increase of over 10% compared to the monthly average of the previous two years. In the past three years, the department has conducted over 46,000 anti-illegal worker operations, resulting in the arrest of over 3,000 illegal workers.
Under the Immigration Ordinance, “assisting or abetting illegal entry,” “illegally employing foreign domestic workers,” or “employing illegal workers” are all considered serious offences. Offenders, upon conviction, may face a maximum penalty of a fine of HK$25,000 and imprisonment for three years, a fine of HK$50,000 and imprisonment for three years, or a fine of HK$500,000 and imprisonment for ten years.