Man-in-the-mask people-smuggling gang busted

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 January, 2011, 12:00am

Police today announced the arrest of seven people in connection with the smuggling of mainlanders from Hong Kong to Canada, including a young man who boarded a plane in October disguised as an elderly Caucasian (right).

The seven were arrested in an operation by police and immigration officers following raids at 10 locations across the city on Friday and yesterday. Among those held were two former ground staff at Hong Kong airport - a 26-year-old arrested at the Macau ferry terminal and another held at home in Tung Chung.

Speaking at the ferry terminal in Sheung Wan early today, principal immigration officer Wong Yin-sang said the two airport workers played key roles in the gang's operation. He said its clients arrived at the airport using genuine travel documents. Once there, syndicate members operating in the airport's restricted zone provided them with fake travel documents and other people's boarding passes.

Wong said each of the gang's clients paid around 300,000 yuan (HK$351,000). He estimated the gang had smuggled around 10 people.

The passenger who flew in disguise claimed refugee protection in Canada, where he is still in detention.