AN immigration officer who took US$400 (about HK$3,090) from two mainland visitors in return for transit visas was yesterday jailed for one year. Thomas Cheung Yuk-chuen, 27, pleaded guilty before Fanling magistrate Don Christie to accepting the money from Nie Wenlong and his sister Nie Kong on April 27 in return for authorising the issue of Hongkong visas to them. The court heard that Cheung was attached to the Lowu border control. On April 27, the Nies, who had been granted permanent residency in Liberia, arrived at Lowu to travel on to their new home. They were carrying People's Republic of China passports and valid entry visas for Liberia. Because they were unable to produce air tickets for travel to Liberia they were referred to Cheung for examination. During the interview, Cheung accepted payment of US$400 for authorising transit visas. The following day he changed the money into Hongkong currency and spent it on horse racing. On May 2, the Nies lodged a complaint with an immigration officer. Defence barrister Raymond Yu said it was a sad case. Cheung had been married only three months. Mr Yu said Cheung came from a good family, had been an outstanding student at Hongkong University, and had an impressive work record.