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Influx of immigrants expected

MORE illegal immigrants are expected to come by land and sea in the next few months due to the fine weather and difficulties in finding jobs in Guangdong, police said yesterday.

The divisional commander of Aberdeen, Superintendent Paul Deal, said: ''Over the next few months we'll get more large-scale landings of evaders to Hongkong.

''It is because weather has improved and people looking for jobs in Guangdong have given 'snakeheads' the opportunity to spread the rumours that mainlanders can find jobs in Hongkong.'' Police and immigration officers arrested 35,600 illegal immigrants last year - 40 per cent more than in 1991.

So far this year, 2,922 illegals have been arrested compared with 2,102 in the same period last year.

A police source said last year's tally was the highest since Hongkong scrapped the so-called ''touch-base'' policy in 1980.

Meanwhile, officers in Aberdeen arrested 46 mainlanders during a 12-hour operation which ended yesterday morning.

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The 35 men and 11 women, aged between 20 and 30, are believed to have jumped from a boat at the coast of Ap Lei Chau on Tuesday night.

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