First mainland mother to sneak in by plane is jailed

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 September, 2012, 1:59pm

The first pregnant mainland woman arrested for sneaking into the city by plane and giving birth at the last minute was jailed yesterday.

The Immigration Department said it would improve communications with airlines after Ye Qianfeng, 26, was sentenced at Sha Tin Court to eight months in prison for giving a false statement and presenting false documents.

She gave birth to a boy in a Hong Kong hospital while she was under investigation.

It means her son, whose father is also a mainlander, is legally entitled to right of abode.

Fung Tai-kwong, assistant principal immigration officer, said there was no indication that more women were taking planes to the city to give birth.

He said: "We believe there is a chance the airline was deceived by her falsified documents. We will have more communications with airlines and hope they will pay more attention."

Ye arrived at Hong Kong international airport from Guangzhou on August 29, but was intercepted. She told immigration officers she was 28 weeks pregnant and presented a mainland hospital document as proof.

But officers found from the records that she was denied entry once in June at Lo Wu border checkpoint. At that time, she told officers her expected delivery date was September 5. She gave birth to her son on September 8. During the investigation she admitted she was 38 weeks pregnant and had bought the falsified document from an unknown woman for 100 yuan (HK$122).

It is understood Ye has not yet applied for a birth certificate.

Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung said this month that the government had invited a Queen's Counsel to advise on how to reverse a law that automatically grants right of abode to all babies born to mainland parents in the city.

In the first eight months of this year, entry was denied to about 3,000 mainland women trying to sneak into the city to give birth, up from about 2,000 in the whole of last year. Eleven were rejected at the airport.