14 arrested as police smash people-smuggling racket bringing Vietnamese illegal immigrants into Hong Kong
Hong Kong (South China Morning Post): Hong Kong and mainland Chinese police have smashed a cross-border syndicate believed to have been smuggling Vietnamese migrants into the city via Shenzhen over the past six months, arresting 14 people in a joint operation.
Six of the suspects – five women and a man – were Vietnamese people picked up after arriving by speedboat at Long Ke Wan in Sai Kung Country Park early on Wednesday.
They were among 12 people, aged 20 to 60, rounded up in Hong Kong. Another two men were arrested in Guangdong province, according to Superintendent Simon Kwan King-pan of the local force’s Organised Crime and Triad Bureau.
The eight arrested who were not illegal immigrants were all believed to be core members of a people-smuggling racket that had been operating for at least six months. Police said the ones picked up in Hong Kong were two local taxi drivers, three mainland visitors and an asylum seeker from Vietnam.
According to police, illegal immigrants went to southern China’s Guangxi province, which borders Vietnam, and were then transported to Guangdong before the syndicate arranged a speedboat to smuggle them from Shenzhen to Hong Kong.
Illegal immigrant racket relying on fishing boats smashed as 38 arrested in Hong Kong and China
“Our intelligence indicated illegal immigrants were each charged HK$8,000 (US$1,025) to HK$10,000 for the journey to Hong Kong,” Kwan said.
He said the migrants were usually collected at landing black spots at Long Ke Wan or the shore off High Island Reservoir in the country park and then taken to urban areas by taxi.