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.
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
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.