Domestic helpers claimed yesterday they were being victimised by the government following a crackdown on illegal hawking in Victoria Park in which four Indonesian maids were arrested. The operation by immigration officials comes after a diplomatic row broke out last week between Hong Kong and the Philippines over the decision to cut maids' minimum monthly pay by $400 to $3,270. One maids' group accused the government of a campaign to drive them out of Hong Kong. But immigration officials brushed aside the claim, insisting it was a routine operation. More than 20 maids were asked to show their identification documents as 46 immigration officers swooped on Victoria Park, where many maids gather to spend their Sunday off. The four Indonesian maids, aged 26 to 41, were arrested for allegedly running stalls selling pirated compact discs, food and accessories. A department spokesman said: 'We decided to conduct the exercise after residents of the area complained about the vending situation. The four people arrested will be charged with breaching conditions of stay.' But Eni Lestari, chairwoman of the Association of Indonesian Migrant Workers in Hong Kong, saw the crackdown as a continued attack on foreign workers. 'The Hong Kong government is trying to kick us out of the country to create more employment for local workers. First they cut our salary and now they do this,' she said. 'They want to catch domestic workers doing something outside of their job duties so they have an excuse to get rid of us.' Ms Lestari said a rally to protest against the plight of foreign domestic helpers would be held on March 30. 'We are fighting for our rights. We are not against the government but against the unfair policies,' she added. A 22-year-old maid at Victoria Park said she could not understand why the raids had taken place. 'I don't know if the arrests have to do with this [trying to kick us out of the country]. But I don't like the government treating us this way. We know the economy is bad but I think a $400 pay cut is too much,' she said. The Immigration Department said the crackdown was a regular exercise. 'We had a similar exercise last October where 10 maids - eight of whom were from Indonesia - were arrested. They have all been extradited,' the spokesman said. 'Only four people were arrested because many of the illegal stall-holders are afraid to do business when there are so many police patrolling the park during the flower fair.' Last year, 220 foreign maids were arrested as illegal workers. On Saturday, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo pledged to sue the Hong Kong government - in the name of a group of maids or a domestic workers' rights group - for discrimination over the decision to cut the minimum wage of domestic workers. According to the new regulations, a $9,600 levy will also be imposed on employers for every two-year contract starting from October 1.