Custody-row mother criticises Hong Kong Immigration as young boys cross border to Macau

Mother says sons were allowed to take ferry to Macau after being 'lured' by estranged husband

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 21 July, 2013, 3:59am

The Spanish mother of two boys, who were allegedly lured to Macau by her estranged husband and then taken to Spain, has criticised Hong Kong's Immigration Department for allowing them to pass through control points unaccompanied.

Lourdes Hermansanz says she is attempting to find out how her two children, Miguel, 10, and his brother Nicolas, 11, could have got through immigration on their own without any questions being asked.

"I can't believe that my kids were let through immigration without any parental or adult supervision. How can kids this age cross the border by themselves and without their parents' authorisation?

"I've also asked immigration to check their CCTV to see if an adult was actually with them when they travelled there."

Immigration Department officials said they would not comment on the case. But they confirmed that residents holding valid travel documents are free to leave the region without any special authorisation, under prevailing legislation.

The department said it would act in accordance with relevant laws and regulations to execute immigration control.

Hermansanz, who has lived in Hong Kong for 11 years, said she had spoken to her youngest son, Miguel, via Facebook and he had told her his father had bought him a new iPad and bicycle.

The brothers hold Spanish passports but study in Hong Kong and live with their mother, a real estate consultant.

She claimed her ex-husband was fighting to get a divorce under Spanish law in Spain as that would spare him from sharing the family wealth with her.

Hermansanz explained she obtained a divorce order in a Hong Kong court in October and won custody of the children. However, she alleges her ex-husband broke court orders stipulating he must pay maintenance and could not take the boys away without her permission.

"This was why he contacted my kids without me knowing, and arranged to meet them in Macau to go on a holiday. From there, he took them back to Madrid with him where he now lives," she said.

Closed circuit television showed the two brothers leaving their home in Pok Fu Lam at about 10am on Monday. The boys went to Macau Ferry Terminal where they passed through immigration. They later met their father, David Rubio, in Macau.

The police and Department of Justice are investigating.