20 IIs held as police seize boat
Police impounded a mainland vessel believed to have been used to smuggle in illegal immigrants and arrested 20 mainlanders in Tsuen Wan yesterday.
Marine police spotted the 70-metre-long vessel when it docked at a pier near Belvedere Garden shortly before 5am.
Eight women, aged between 20 and 25, were seen disembarking. Police said they were all from Hunan province and had paid 4,000 yuan (HK$3,700) each for the trip.
'This pier is quite popular among human smugglers, as it is a quiet place near a good transport network,' a marine police spokesman said. 'A sizeable vessel offers more hiding places for illegal aliens and makes our job harder.'
Three hours later marine police boarded the same vessel off the Ting Kau Bridge and arrested 12 men, aged 22 to 61.
The boat, from Guangzhou, was taken to Sai Wan Ho marine base where all 20 mainlanders were being questioned.