Chinese national sentenced to 16 months in prison for possessing a forged identity card and working illegally

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7th June 2023 – (Hong Kong) A Chinese illegal worker was sentenced to 16 months’ imprisonment by the Shatin Magistrates’ Courts on 6th June. The sentence was handed down after the Immigration Department (ImmD) conducted a raid on a restaurant in Wan Chai on 24th April, during which a 50-year-old Chinese woman was arrested for working as a dishwashing worker. An investigation into her employer’s suspected involvement in employing the illegal worker is ongoing.

The illegal worker was charged with taking employment after landing in Hong Kong unlawfully and remaining in Hong Kong without the authority of the Director of Immigration. She pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment. Additionally, she was charged with one count of remaining in Hong Kong without the authority of the Director after landing in Hong Kong unlawfully and one count of possessing a forged Hong Kong identity card. She was sentenced to 15 and 16 months’ imprisonment for each count, respectively. All sentences will run concurrently, resulting in a total of 16 months’ imprisonment.

The ImmD spokesman has warned that, according to section 38AA of the Immigration Ordinance, illegal immigrants, individuals subject to a removal or deportation order, overstayers, or individuals who were refused permission to land are prohibited from taking any employment, whether paid or unpaid, or establishing or joining any business. Offenders are liable upon conviction to a maximum fine of $50,000 and up to three years’ imprisonment.

It is also an offence to use or possess a forged Hong Kong identity card or one related to another person. Offenders face prosecution and, upon conviction, can receive a maximum penalty of a $100,000 fine and up to 10 years’ imprisonment.