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Central salon, shops targeted in Immigration crackdown on illegal work

30 April 2022

 By The SUN

Immigration officers take away one of the suspects (GIS photo)

Another four-day sweep conducted by the Immigration Department aimed at flushing out illegal workers targeted 14 locations in Central, including restaurants, retail shops and a salon.

According to a press statement issued by the government Friday, one suspected illegal worker, one suspected employer and one person found in possession of a Hong Kong ID card belonging to another were arrested during the operation codenamed “Champion.”

The suspected illegal worker is a man aged 38, who holds a recognizance form which prevents him being deported for staying in Hong Kong without a valid visa, but prohibits him from taking up any employment.


A 47-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of hiring the worker, while the person who was in possession of somebody else’s HKID card is a man aged 51.

The raids were part of territory-wide operation codenamed “Twilight” and “Lightshadow” conducted by Immigration and police officers from Apr 25 to 29.

Apart from the three, eight other suspected illegal workers and four suspected employers were arrested.

Pindutin para sa detalye

The raids targeted 37 locations, including a car park, food and beverage stalls, a garbage collection depot, premises under renovation, and even residential buildings.

Immigration warns that anyone who violates a condition of stay, including visitors who take up employment, whether paid or unpaid, is liable to prosecution and if convicted, faces a maximum fine of $50,000 and up to two years’ imprisonment.

Aidors and abettors are equally liable to prosecution and penalties.


The penalty is higher for an illegal immigrant, recognizance holder or overstayer. Offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and up to three years' imprisonment.

Those who use someone else’s Hong Kong ID card face even harsher penalties, with the maximum fine set at $100,000 and a jail term of up to 10 years.

However, the most severe penalties are reserved for employers of any of these illegal workers.

Press for details

Under the Immigration Ordinance, the maximum penalty prescribed for the employer has been raised from $350,000 in fine and three years’ imprisonment to $500,000 in fine and 10 years’ imprisonment.

The director, manager, secretary, partner, or any officer of the company concerned may also bear criminal liability.

In addition, an immediate custodial sentence or imprisonment is prescribed for the employer of an illegal workers in accordance with the sentencing guidelines issued by the High Court.


According to the court, employers must take all practicable steps to ensure the person is lawfully employable. Apart from inspecting the job applicant’s HK ID card, the employer is duty-bound to make further enquiries to ensure the lawful employability of the person.

If the job-seeker has no HK permanent ID card, the employer is obligated by law to inspect the applicant’s valid travel document. Failure to do this could result in the employer being prosecuted and if found liable, face a maximum fine of $150,000 and jailed for up to a year.

“In that connection, (Immigration) would like to remind all employers not to defy the law by employing illegal workers,” said the government statement.

At the same time, Immigration will conduct initial screening of “vulnerable persons, including illegal workers, illegal immigrants, sex workers and foreign domestic helpers who are arrested during any operation” to determine whether they are trafficking in persons (TIP) victims.

Identified TIP victims will be provided with various forms of support and assistance, including urgent intervention, medical services, counselling, shelter or temporary accommodation and other support services.

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