ong Kong is not directly involved in human smuggling/trafficking activities. However, as a major transportation hub in the region, Hong Kong is more vulnerable to human smuggling/trafficking activities.
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region's Enforcement Effort
2. Under the policy directive of Security Bureau, all law enforcement departments are taking concerted and coordinated efforts to combat human smuggling/trafficking-
(a) The Immigration Department and the Customs and Excise Department have continued to identify suspect vessels used in sea-borne smuggling/trafficking operations and to intercept vessels believed to be modified/adapted for use in transporting illegal immigrants.
(b) The Immigration Department exercises full vigilance at all immigration control points. Operations are regularly conducted at the Airport to prevent HKSAR from being used as a transit avenue of illegal migrants using forged or unlawfully acquired third country documents.
(c) In addition to the stringent actions in ensuring the integrity of the land border and sea boundary of the SAR on a day-to-day basis, the Hong Kong Police collect intelligence and investigate suspect organisers and conduct joint investigations with other enforcement agencies as and when appropriate.
(d) There are exchanges of intelligence between different law enforcement agencies, with local consulates, and with foreign as well as Mainland authorities on activities of forgery syndicates, trends and related matters.
(e) We adopt a tough prosecution policy against forged travel document users, couriers and suppliers. The maximum penalty for arranging passage to HKSAR of unauthorised entrants is a fine of $5,000,000 and imprisonment for 14 years.
3. Some examples of our effort in combating human smuggling/trafficking and recent cooperation with the international community were as follows-
(a) In January 2011, a joint operation was conducted by the Immigration Department and the Hong Kong Police Force to combat document fraud and boarding pass swap activities. Nine persons were arrested.
(b) In May 2011, a joint operation codenamed “Sting” was conducted by the Immigration Department and the Hong Kong Police Force to apprehend passport brokers and sellers. Six persons were arrested.
(c) In June 2011, the Hong Kong Police Force conducted a joint operation with Immigration Department and Mainland Authority aimed at combating cross-border human smuggling and vice activities. Two persons were arrested.
(d) In September 2011 and December 2012, two Operations code-named “Sky League” were conducted by the Immigration Department with the participation of local consulate representatives of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Macao police officers. Four persons were arrested and one questionable passport was seized.
(e) In September and October 2012, a joint tripartite operation codenamed ‘Snapshots’ was conducted by the Hong Kong Immigration Department, the Federal Police of Germany and the Royal Marechaussee of the Netherlands at the Hong Kong International Airport, Frankfurt Airport and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport respectively. The operation aimed at combating illegal migration activities and establishing sustainable tripartite contacts for operation and intelligence matters.
4. The HKSAR Government also maintains close cooperation and exchanges with other governments on matters relating to population movements and irregular migration at international/regional fora. Recent examples are-
(a) In June 2011, representatives from the Hong Kong Police Force attended the 9th Meeting of the "INTERPOL Asia-Pacific Expert Group on Asian Organized Crime" held at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Through the meeting, officers were updated with the latest intelligence on human trafficking and shared with other member countries the relevant enforcement experience.
(b) In June 2012, a representative from the Immigration Department was invited to attend the "4th Meeting of the Technical Experts Group on Irregular Movements" held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as a guest speaker. During the meeting, the member countries were briefed of the actions which the law enforcement agencies had been taken to combat human smuggling and the Operation “Sky League” conducted at the Hong Kong International Airport.
(c) Between 2011 and 2012, representatives from the law enforcement departments attended various overseas conferences / workshops to share with overseas counterparts the latest intelligence and experience on combating against human trafficking enforcement: the “Bali Process Senior Officials’ Meeting and Fourth Ministerial Conference” held in Bali, Indonesia in March 2011; the “Immigration Aspects of Airport Security” held in Bangkok, Thailand in June 2011; “the 17th Pacific Rim Immigration Intelligence Conference” held in Apia, Samoa in October 2011; the “Trafficking in Persons Courses” held in Bangkok, Thailand in July 2012; the “Trafficking in Persons/Child Exploitation Courses” held in Bangkok, Thailand in December 2012; “the 2nd Latin American Congress of Migration on Crime Prevention of the Trafficking in Persons in Latin America” held in Medellin, Colombia in November 2012; and “the 10th Anniversary Commemorative Conference of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime for Senior Officials” held at Bali, Indonesia in November 2012.
Continuing Efforts and Cooperation with the Trade
5. To combat the problem of using containers in vessels to smuggle illegal immigrants, Hong Kong law enforcement departments have stepped up actions at sea and intensified exchange of intelligence with their overseas and Mainland counterparts.