Hundreds of forged Vietnamese refugee cards were recovered from two photographic studios in Tai Kok Tsui in a joint operation by the Immigration Department and the Commercial Crime Bureau yesterday. Twenty-nine people were arrested in the raids which netted at least 282 forged cards, worth between $500 and $2,000, destined for Vietnamese escapees and illegal immigrants. Three photographic studio staff and two Vietnamese escapees arrested were suspected of being members of the syndicate. Immigration Department senior investigator Raymond Yeung Chi-yan said the gang targeted Vietnamese in closed camps such as Whitehead, High Island and Chi Ma Wan detention centres, as well as 300 Vietnamese escapees. The arrested also included 11 holders of forged cards who had landed jobs as construction workers at Chek Lap Kok or as waiters. It is understood hundreds of genuine refugee cards are reported lost or stolen every year, but authorities believe many are sold. Some refugees are already reportedly buying doctored or forged Hong Kong identity cards to replace their refugee cards because China has ordered that no Vietnamese remain in the territory after next year's handover.