Hong Kong – Immigration Department combats Mainland visitors abusing existing transit arrangement for holders of PRC passports.

To cope with Mainland visitors who had abused the existing transit arrangement for holders of People’s Republic of China (PRC) passports, the Immigration Department conducted an operation, codenamed “Breakshadow”, at Lo Wu Control Point, Lo Ma Chau Spur Line Control Point, Shenzhen Bay Control Point and Airport Control Point in the past days. During the operation, 34 Mainland visitors were arrested, 13 were charged of making false representation to immigration officers, and seven of them had been convicted to imprisonment ranging from two weeks to three months.

Upon arrival immigration clearance, the arrested Mainland visitors falsely told Immigration Officers that they were in transit through Hong Kong to other countries or territories. Upon further investigation by the Immigration Department, they admitted that their actual purpose of visit was not to transit via Hong Kong to other countries or territories but for business or sightseeing in Hong Kong.

Action Items:
· Under the laws of Hong Kong, any person who makes false representation to Immigration Officers commits an offence. Offenders are liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, the maximum penalty will be a fine of $150,000 and imprisonment for 14 years.
· In addition, if Mainland visitors abuse the existing transit arrangement for holders of PRC passports by not departing for other countries or territories according to their original itinerary, relevant information will be recorded by the Immigration Department.
· Upon their next arrival, immigration officers at control point will conduct detailed examination before a decision to grant or refuse permission to land is made.

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