Wednesday, September 3, 2014   




Police nab 59 in dawn raids on guest houses

Michael Wong

Wednesday, April 24, 1996

POLICE and immigration officers netted 59 people from 14 countries for violating immigration regulations in a 230-man operation in Chungking Mansions and nearby Mirador Mansions in Tsim Sha Tsui yesterday.

Officers from the Immigration Department, Police Tactical Unit, Commercial Crimes Bureau, Yau Tsim district Special Duties Squad and the Uniformed Branch made the raid just before dawn.

The operation, codenamed Sahara, started with officers cordoning off exits of the Nathan Road buildings.

They searched the buildings and arrested 52 men and seven women _ aged between 20 to 45 _ for immigration violations such as possessing expired visas, possessing counterfeit passports and fake US banknotes and drug-related crimes.

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Those arrested came from China, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, the Philippines, the Ivory Coast, Ghana, the Maldives, Lebanon, Britain and the US.

Police said those nabbed for overstaying visas were mostly from China, the Philippines and African countries.

Police also arrested a Hong Kong man, 47, who is to be charged for alleged participating in a fake passport and visa racket. He was found in possession of forged Singaporean, British, Brazilian and Venezuelan passports.

Chungking Mansions is known as a haven for illegal immigrants.

Backpackers from around the world stay in the building, which has an international blend of restaurants, hostels and travel agencies.

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