May 22, 2012
A 30-year-old female Mainland resident involved in arranging for non-local pregnant women to come to Hong Kong to give birth pleaded guilty today (May 4) in Sha Tin Magistrates' Court to five counts of breach of condition of stay.
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She was sentenced to two months' imprisonment each for the first four charges, which related to four Mainland pregnant women with hospital confinement bookings in Hong Kong, and six months for the fifth charge, which related to a Mainland pregnant woman who had no hospital confinement booking. One month's imprisonment for each of the first four charges is to run consecutively to that of the fifth charge, making a total sentence of 10 months' imprisonment.
On May 2, 2012, the defendant was stopped for further examination at Lok Ma Chau Spur Line Control Point as she was suspected to be involved in arranging for non-local pregnant women to come to Hong Kong to give birth. Investigation revealed that the defendant had been employed by a Mainland agency since September 2011 to assist Mainland pregnant women in coming to Hong Kong for medical checks and delivery. She was initially assigned to escort the pregnant women to Hong Kong for antenatal checks and was paid RMB200 yuen per trip. Later, in December 2011, she started to receive a monthly salary of RMB2000 yuen instead of a reward per trip. The defendant also assisted the women in applying for extensions of stay, Hong Kong birth certificates and re-entry permits for their newborn babies. During the period from October 2011 to February 2012, the defendant assisted a total of five Mainland pregnant women in coming to Hong Kong. Four of the women had confinement bookings in Hong Kong while the fifth, who had no such booking, gave birth in February 2012 at the Accident and Emergency Unit of the Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital.
"This is the fourth case of its kind since the successful conviction on February 10 of an intermediary who assisted Mainland pregnant women to come to Hong Kong for medical services. We are very concerned about the activities of Mainland agents arranging for non-local pregnant women to come to Hong Kong for confinement, particularly those who have no prior confinement booking. We will continue to spare no effort in combating any immigration offences detected," an Immigration Department spokesman said.
The spokesman warned that visitors are not allowed to take employment, or establish or join in any business in Hong Kong without the permission of the Director of Immigration. Offenders are liable to prosecution and upon conviction to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for two years.