A mainland woman has been jailed for five months for lying about her travel plans and tampering with her passport to conceal previous deceit.
Huang Zhen was convicted in Sha Tin Court of false representation and possession of false documents.
An immigration official said yesterday that the woman attempted to enter Hong Kong last Friday with a Chinese passport, air ticket to Indonesia and visa, saying she was only in transit. But it was found that she had no plans to go to Indonesia and only wanted to visit Hong Kong. Immigration staff found two warning marks on her passport, because she came to Hong Kong twice last year giving the same false reason. One of the marks was found to have been tampered with in an attempt to conceal it.
Assistant principal immigration officer Choi Yue-ning said the woman, whom he did not name, was thought to have used the ruse to avoid having to apply for a two-way permit, the document mainlanders use to visit Hong Kong.
'It was not worthwhile, as the criminal record she now has will make future immigration difficult,' he said.
About 20 people were stopped at Lo Wu every day because of the warning marks placed in their passports to alert border officials, he said.
The marks were used when mainlanders who claimed to be in transit to other countries were found, when they left Hong Kong, not to have visited those countries.
The policy of allowing mainlanders in transit to enter Hong Kong without a two-way permit was for the convenience of the public, Choi said.
'We hope it will not be abused,' he said. 'The Immigration Department will strictly enforce regulations and prosecute those breaching them.'